In April 2012, a reader sent us some photos of Eva Bandman Park after a flood. So for readers who are reading about Worlds being rescheduled to Sunday and think that the flood concerns are an over-exaggeration and that the races should be run as scheduled, we wanted to bring this article back into the light so you could see just how bad the park could be by Sunday morning. We doubt racers would want to hold the race on that course when flooded, unless, of course, Niels Albert brought a scuba suit.
Louisville, Kentucky’s wettest April ever on record has left 13.5 inches of rain and has created a surging Ohio River that has stranded hundreds and caused millions of dollars in damage.
Although insignificant in context of the greater disaster, these record floods also impact the cyclocross community in that they have flooded much of Eva Bandman park, the official venue for the 2013 Cyclocross World Championships, 2012 and 2013 Masters Cyclocross World Championships, and the USGP 2011 Derby City Cup.
Southeastern Cycling’s Trish Albert told Cyclocross Magazine that because of the recent floods and record rains that have plagued the area, “90% of the [USGP] course is under water.”
Louisville residents Mary and Nolan Boyd sent in photos from Wednesday of the Eva Bandman cyclocross venue, highlighting the massive flooding in the area. As seen in the side-by-side photos of three hills on the USGP course, all but the very tops of these hills is under water from the floods.
Joan Hanscom, owner and producer of the Greenware® USGP of Cyclocross and partner in the Louisville 2013 World Championship promotion team, described the situation to Cyclocross Magazine. “The cross park is, unfortunately, underwater,” she says. “The Ohio River is 30 feet…and has closed the length of river road and all of the river front. It will not impact the course long-term for cyclocross unless the rain never stops…which at this point is certainly how it feels. It will require some significant clean-up. The river has dumped a lot a trash and detritus in its wake.”
The Ohio River is expected to crest at 33 feet on Thursday, a whopping 10 feet above the flood level. It’s no wonder that much of the cyclocross course along the banks of the river is completely submerged.
“This flooding is the result of non-stop severe weather for two straight weeks that has plagued the entire Midwest and the reach and impact is far more serious than merely the cyclocross course flooding,” Hanscom says, putting the situation into perspective as hundreds have been evacuated from the river’s edge. “That said, there should be no lasting impact to the course and in fact, the grass on the course is being richly fertilized and the top soil replenished. A big mess right now, but no lasting damage.”
How is the recent flood relevant to hopeful attendees to the upcoming 2012 Cyclocross Masters World Championships or the 2013 Elite and Masters Cyclocross World Championships? Unless the skies open up in record fashion again before or during those events, most likely it’s not of concern to Hanscom, save for some park clean-up and perhaps some altered terrain.
But Mother Nature is of course, unpredictable, regardless of the venue or time of year. Typical April precipitation for the area averages 3.88 inches, a far cry from the 13+ inches the area has already received this month. The months of January and February tend to be a bit drier, averaging 3.17 and 2.99 inches respectively, and that precipitation can be in the form of rain or snow, because of the average January temperature of 33 degrees.
Cyclocrossers who are interested in helping with the cleanup can inquire about volunteer opportunities with the Louisville Metro Parks department.
Videos of Recent Flooding: