The Cove expected to open ahead of schedule

Photo: Knox County Parks & Rec

KNOXVILLE (WATE) – After storms went through Knox County over Memorial Day weekend, The Cove at Concord Park is expected to open ahead of schedule.

The park will open to the public Friday at 4 p.m.

Crews have been hard at work, making repairs and cleaning up.

“I said right from the start that we wanted The Cove up and running as quickly and safely as possible and I feel we were able to do just that,” said Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett. “Our folks in the Parks and Recreation Department along with Mencer’s Tree Service, Valley Excavating and LCUB, really stepped up.”

Doug Bataille, with Knox County Parks and Recreation, said, “It very much looked like a hurricane hit out here. Trees just flattened everywhere, debris everywhere.”

There were downed trees, smashed benches and downed power lines on the ground. It made it a safety hazard for park visitors, so officials closed the park until further notice.

“Especially for the first couple of days, the trees were really dangerous in here. There were a lot of limbs hanging, trees that were leaned over,” said Bataille. “There was live power out here on the ground. So it was a very dangerous situation.”

Progress in the cleanup has been quick. Damaged picnic tables and benches were replaced, along with new parts installed on broken playground equipment.

Park officials say one of the benefits of having the park closed is that power lines will able to be put in underground. The goal is to prevent damage from future storms.

Bataille adds, “We won’t have to worry about a tree or wind or anything bringing those lines down, cutting service out.”

The free fishing day event and Saturday’s concert are canceled.

Related: Knox County estimates more than $150K in storm damage to The Cove

Knox County estimates more than $150,000 in storm damage to The Cove. Park officials are hoping to get reimbursed by FEMA after an evaluation.

 

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