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Gatesville park reopens, city considers flood repairs

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Posted at 6:00 PM, Apr 05, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-31 22:39:26-04

GATESVILLE, TX — Coryell County's biggest and most popular park has finally reopened after it was closed due to fall and winter floods.

But if you head down to Gatesville's Fauntleroy Park, you'll find some parts accessible only by foot or bicycle.

The flooding has left city leaders with some serious decisions ahead.

Chris Brown celebrated with a bike ride after Gatesville finally reopened Fauntleroy Park a few weeks ago.

"It was closed a good two months, maybe even three after the last flood and it was wrecked down here," Brown said.

Even after floodwater receded, the city made their top priority the safety of park visitors.

"We were waiting for all the settling to take place to determine how much of the park might fall into river," said Gatesville City Manager Bill Parry.

Some of it did, and more of it likely will.

Even though the park has reopened, some of the dangers remain at the blocked-off areas. There are cracks in some areas and land is due to fall into the Leon River at any time.

The problem is the park creates a little peninsula with the river going around it, until flooding comes and washes over it.

For now, Gatesville has sought help for repairs.

"The county has qualified for presidential Disaster Declaration, so FEMA assistance. We have gone through the initial steps," said Parry.

But he says FEMA could recommend moving the park to a safer location to save some annual expense in flood repairs.

FEMA experts will visit the town in a few weeks for an on-site assessment.

Chris Brown says he hopes something happens soon.

"I'm a little worried about it, that it might keep eroding away," Brown said.