South Bend Parks reopen after storm damage


South Bend, Ind. Families flocked to several South Bend parks Monday, nearly a week after storm damages forced many to close over the holiday weekend.

All but Keller Park are back open to the public after nearly a weeks-worth of 12 to 16 hour days from city workers.

"I personally put in 16 hours on the first day that it happened,” said South Bend’s Maintenance Superintendent Mike Dyszkiewicz. “Our crews came in the next day and spent at least 10 to 12 hours themselves.”

Downed power lines and uprooted trees were the greatest cause for concern. Dyszkiewicz said Michiana’s rainy Spring is to blame for all the tree damage.

"Because of all the wet ground, that's why there was so much damage because it just took it right form the roots and flipped it over,” he explained.

The park closures displaced many families this Fourth of July weekend. Potawatomi Park had to cancel more than 45 group reservations alone.

“The public was very, very sympathetic,” Dyszkiewicz said. “They didn’t really give us any grief over it.”

Families like Jackie Hammond’s of South Bend wasted no time getting back to the park on Monday.

“The kids have been dying to get out here and in the water and playing in the park again,” said Hammond, who had hoped to visit the parks on the 4th of July.

“We were sort of upset because you know this is our park and we were afraid that it was going to be a while,” she said.

Keller Park is still closed indefinitely; city crews say several days of work are still needed before residents can safely return.


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