Popular Lexington attraction closes to repair damage from flooding

Popular Lexington attraction closes to repair damage from flooding

LEXINGTON, S.C. (WIS) - Lexington Mayor Steve MacDougall gave us a first-hand look at the damage at 14 Mile Creek Trail after last month’s flooding.

The popular attraction is at the corner of Old Cherokee Road and North Lake Drive. The entrance to the trail is tucked away in the Exxon gas station parking lot.

Many people would bring their kids to play and learn. Mayor MacDougall said it was the perfect place to take your dog for a walk.

“We knew this was a flood plain when we built it,” MacDougall said, “and we knew that there could be a possibility that it would flood, but it had not flooded in years before we built it.”

Fixing the damage, the mayor said, depends on when the area can dry out. Now, caution tape is up, warning residents to stay away for public safety. Mayor MacDougall said, because of the recent rain, the park has been closed since June 10.

“We had another flood we had that flash flood when we got about 6 inches of rain in less than 2 hours,” MacDougall noted.

That rain washed away part of the bridge and lifted the grid pathway, according to MacDougall. The scene was very similar to the flooding the trail experienced a few years back.

“Unfortunately, the tremendous floods of October 2015 really did a number on this trail,” he said. “It took out a lot of the grid, took out three of our bridges. We were able to rebuild one of those bridges, but the other two were completely destroyed.”

The natural walking trail is now a beaten path, home to wildlife. Handmade bird boxes hang through the trail.

“We already seen blue jays come back to the trail because of these boxes.” MacDougall said.

So what will it take to fix it?

“We have to get equipment down to repair that bridge and lift it back up with a tractor to get it back in place,” MacDougall explained. “If we brought a piece of equipment down here now we would really tear up the trail and cause more damage.”

MacDougall said the project was federally funded through a grant and the repairs are of no cost to taxpayers.

“This is a gift from the federal government to our community and we frankly we love it,” he said.

MacDougall hopes to have the park open by the end of summer.

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