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Palm Desert works to drain Freedom Park after weeks of flooding from storm

The City of Palm Desert is working to clear out flooding at Freedom Park, after it was hit by Tropical Storm Hilary last month.

For weeks, the baseball field and soccer park have been underwater. The rest of the park remains open for public use.

“The park was designed to take on an overflow of flood control issues, and that it did its job it took on flood control water that came from the west. And this is the result that we ended up with after a major, over 100-year storm that occurred," said Martin Alvarez, the Director of Public Works.

He says the city is actively working to drain the flooding from the field. There are multiple machines pumping out hundreds of gallon of water everyday.

"We're pumping it to a smaller soccer field just to the south of us. And we're allowing that park then to percolate down into the ground. And we're repeating that process every time that field gets full," Alvarez said.

Why is it taking some extra time to drain? Because the city says it has to divert the overflow to avoid affecting any surrounding businesses.

“We want to make sure we're not impacting any of our businesses to the east and to the Mid-Valley channel. So that's why we're taking the water to the south, and allowing that to naturally percolate into the soil," Alvarez explained.

Once the park is drained, he says they can fully assess the damage done and total up the costs.

Until then, people can still enjoy the parts of the park that weren’t as impacted.

“We got the playground, the dog park, the basketball courts, the volleyball courts are open, functional, our irrigation system is back on with the exception of the ball fields," he said.

The city expects Freedom Park to be fully reopened by the end of the year.

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Samantha Lomibao

Samantha joined KESQ News Channel 3 in May 2021. Learn more about Samantha here here.


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