Usually the start of April, groups of people are taking over La Crosse’s Riverside Park.
But this year, the only thing that is taking over is floodwaters.
“Rising floodwaters and water starting to enter the parks, we’re forced to close down a few of those and one of those today was Riverside Park,” said La Crosse Parks and Forestry Supervisor Dan Trussoni.
In addition to Riverside Park, the Parks and Recreation Department is also closing Pettibone Park, Copeland Park, Veterans Freedom Park Boat Landing and multiple trails indefinitely.
Officials say it’s been many years since the city has closed down Riverside Park due to high floodwaters.
The main reason for the closure, they say, is public safety.
“The floodwaters are extremely dangerous. The amount of current coming through with the high water levels is very intense and if someone were to go beyond a point where they’re not recommended or not approved to be, it’d be a situation we want to try and avoid,” said Trussoni.
Officials say there is no set flood stage when certain parks have to close down.
But with the record snow earlier this year causing spring flooding around the Midwest, they say it’s better to be safe than sorry.
“Whenever the water is this high of course we are on high alert and as soon as the water starts to enter the park and comes over the top that’s a sign to us that something needs to be done and we need to close the park,” said Trussoni.
He wants residents to remember if a park is closed, do not enter the park even if it looks safe.
Trussoni says as soon as the floodwaters start to recede, crews will be out to clean up and open the parks as soon as possible.
You can find a list of the parks closed in La Crosse by clicking here.