Local News

Storm, Flooding Damages Area Parks

Posted June 17, 2006

— Tropical Storm Alberto is long gone, but it could affect weekend plans for months to come. The overwhelming rains damaged several local parks, including historic Yates Mill Park.

The newly rebuilt park was supposed to open for their first public milling demonstrations this weekend. But the Yates Mill wheel nearly washed away Wednesday when nearly 7 feet of floodwater surrounded the 250-year-old mill.

This isn't the first time that the mill has stood its ground. In 1996, Hurricane Fran knocked out the original dam, setting back the public opening of the park for several years. Hurricanes Dennis and Floyd didn't help, and a builder bankruptcy in 2004 cost the park another year.

Now, just when the mill was going to start running again, Alberto swept in, creating craters and other delays. This weekend, park employees were showing video of Wednesday's storm instead of the planned milling demonstrations. Is history at the mill hexed?

"The fact that it's still here, we feel very fortunate that we can still have the mill, work to having it open as soon we can," said Yates Mill Park manager Rebeccah Cope.

It could be a month or more before repairs are completed, and and it won't be the only park space that Alberto closed.

A section of greenway at Lake Johnson is closed as crews work to repair the dam. That's only one of many sections of greenway through Raleigh and Cary closed because of Wednesday's storm, including:

  • Middle Crabtree Trail (from Kiwanis Park to Raleigh Blvd).
  • Shelley Lake Trail (around Shelley Lake)
  • Sawmill Trail (Sawmill Rd. south to the Bent Creek Trail)
  • Lake Lynn Trail (around Lake Lynn and adjacent to Lake Lynn Park)
  • Buckeye Trail (from Raleigh Blvd. to Milburnie Rd)
  • Rocky Branch Trail (from Wilmington St. to Centennial Blvd.)
  • Crabtree Valley Trail (adjacent to Crabtree Valley Mall)
  • Lower Walnut Trail (from Rose Lane to Garner Rd.)
  • Gardner Street Trail (Jaycee Park south to Isabella Cannon Park)
  • Fallon Creek Trail (within Kiwanis Park)
  • Bent Creek Trail (from Shelley Lake north to Longstreet Drive)
  • Alleghany Trail (from North Hills Park east to Kiwanis Park)

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