New Life For Flooded Land In Council Bluffs

Franque Thompson

COUNCIL BLUFF, IA (KPTM)- Two years after a major flood Council Bluffs is ready to open a new park in the metro. The city is bringing in some big Hollywood names to mark the opening.

Friday's windy weather did not stop crews from setting up the stage for the Tom Hanafan River's Edge Park big opening.

"It's all coming together. And now the public can see what we can do in this park," said Council Bluffs Park and Recreations Director Larry Foster.

Crews spent the day gearing up for the Loessfest--a three-week-long celebration of music and family fun. It's also the official kick-off of the park.

"We wanted it to be of a scope and scale that was a regional attraction. And a park that is unlike anything else in the Midwest," said Foster.

Just two summers ago this land was nearly 10 feet under water--flooded from the Missouri River.

"We've worked hard to bring it back. The vision, the dream of a park like this never really died," said Foster.

When the next flood happens workers will hook up hoses to the parks irrigation system to spray down the park from debris, after the water drifts back down to the bank.

"We'd like it to never flood again. We know it will and the park has been designed to accommodate that," said Foster.

Until then, he hopes people will come and see all 95 acres while enjoying the Loessfest.

"It has gone from just a rough unused area to, I think, a place in the Midwest, if not the metro area, that people will want to come to and see," said Foster.

The festival begins May 25th at 7pm. The beach boys are headlining the free concert. Organizers encourage Omaha visitors to park downtown and walk across the Bob Kerrey bridge.