Forkland Community Center flooded from Thursday’s storm

Published 12:56 pm Monday, February 20, 2023

The Forkland Community Center and other areas of Boyle County flooded during Thursday’s storm.

Roads throughout Danville and Boyle County closed due to high waters as puddles grew, and ponds and streams overflowed. Forkland Road completely closed from Minor Branch Road to Highway 243.

The flood knocked out water service for houses in west Boyle County. Some Parksville Water District customers did not have water for two days. Bottled water was available at Parksville Water District.

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The problem stemmed from the Scrubgrass water line. After water lines were replaced, the water valve broke, causing additional outages. Boil water advisories for 97 customers were in effect for at least 24 hours after water was restored on Sunday.

The Forkland Community Center, a beloved community staple, had water up to three feet in parts of its basement.

Some parts of the basement are a foot and a half lower than other parts. Those rooms like the art room and the stone building’s basement got significantly more water.

Pat Williams, who is the art teacher at Forkland, said the art room she teaches in had about 18 inches of water. She had to throw away several truckloads of paper, books, and other art supplies. Not much actual artwork was damaged since paintings sat higher in the room.

Replacement supplies may cost a few hundred dollars, Williams said, as most of it was basic craft material and paper.

The local Fire Department pumped out the water at Forkland Thursday night. Williams said the Fire Department had also flooded about six inches.

The basement in the gray stone building was flooded about three feet. Mud also came in through the windows. Williams said they keep that area most empty because it’s more susceptible to floods.

The rest of the basement had from a few inches to one foot of water. A layer of wet mud covered the entire basement floor on Friday.

“This isn’t nearly as bad as it could be, but it’s still unpleasant,” Williams said.

Split rail fence around the property was either destroyed or washed away. Some of the fence moved intact across the property. It currently blocks one of the vehicle entrances.

Williams said the split rail fence was hard to find the last time they had to buy it, and was expensive. They will try to move some of the fence back to where it was, and reassemble what they can.

The outdoor food stand and picnic shelter was especially hit, and seemed to have the highest amount of water. Corn from nearby fields washed all over the picnic table benches. Refrigerators and other appliances were knocked over.

Williams said the appliances in the food stand are likely ruined. However, the appliances inside the main basement are likely fine.

She said this flood was not as bad as one they had a few years ago. That time, people repanelled the kitchen, put on new floor tiles, and got all new appliances.

Everything upstairs was unaffected. Due to other floods in the past few decades, Williams said they have started keeping all the important artifacts, books, and pictures upstairs.

In past floods they have lost couches, tables, and many other things. This time the main casualties were boxes, supplies, paper, and appliances in the food stand.

Pat and her son Cam were clearing out those supplies on Friday, but the floor was too muddy for much other work. Williams said insurance will pay for an outside company to clean the floor, since it is such a major task.

“Flood mud is the worst thing in the world,” she said.

But even with professional help, things will still have mud on them, they’ve learned from previous floods.

“You have to wash everything three times, and then a year later you start looking around and there’s still mud in places,” Cam said. “There’s mud from the last flood if you start looking hard enough, because you just don’t know it’s there until you start looking.”

Williams said about 32 years ago is the first flood she and others remember happening in the center, but they don’t necessarily know why.

“It didn’t used to flood apparently; the school was here for years and years and nobody remembers any floods,” Williams said. “Now it’s flooding, way too often.”

Williams said they’ve learned to not keep as much in the basement. Instead of nice tables getting ruined, tables in the basement are now plastic and metal.

A storage room in the basement has shelves situated a couple feet up from the ground, to avoid damage from floods. Appliances and storage in that room were not damaged. The log cabin was not damaged.

Forkland will accept volunteers to help clean things, but not until after the floors get cleaned. Williams said Monday morning that an outside company is cleaning the floors this week.

The Forkland Community Center is still planning on hosting its annual pie supper on March 11. They will be working to get things cleaned before then.