Volunteers clean up Helena park after flood

Cleanup efforts are still underway at a Helena Amphitheater Park. Flooding washed up debris and damaged park equipment. And with the Buck Creek Festival just four weeks away, these volunteers are working overtime.

They didn't mind getting their hands dirty or breaking a bit of a sweat. As long as when the work was done, they made a difference. Several dozen volunteers gathered Sunday morning at the park off Helena Road. The goal was to restore the park back to the way it was before Buck Creek swelled several feet and flooded the grounds, leaving trash, tree branches and damaged park equipment. "We've seen it up where it got two feet inside the building, but this is the highest I've ever seen it since I've been here," said Ron Holly, organizer of the cleanup.

When asked why he and dozens of others would spend their entire Sunday cleaning the park, he says it's a no-brainer."We feel like it's the only way we can help. The park was a mess. We've got a big festival coming up here, the biggest in three weeks," he said.

Even with their determination, the volunteers realize there's still a ways to go. "It's just amazing how water can pick up a swing set or playground equipment and it's hundreds of pounds and even chained to the ground, and just lift it up and move it," said volunteer Zach Kendrick.

But they are not deterred

"It's important to the residents and we're doing everything we can to get it back up and running for the summer events."

Prior to the volunteers coming in today, city workers had been at the park all week moving debris. In fact, Helena Mayor Mark Hall and city councilman Hewy Woodman were at the park Sunday.

They say the city has filed an insurance claim for much of the damaged equipment, like the playground sets. The plan is to start having those larger items replaced within the next few weeks.