By: Sheila Crowley
Murray County News Staffwriter
One of Slayton’s most valuable landmarks could be in question following the recent flooding event. The Slayton Country Club sustained substantial damage with reports estimated near $177,000 to fix the local course according to treasurer David Dorpinghaus.
Part of the beauty of the course is the Beaver Creek winding and weaving throughout. However, the water can be a detriment as well. “It’s one of our greatest assets, but also one of the greatest nemesis,” commented Dorpinghaus. This was the case with heavy rains which started on June 20th and then was hit again on July 3rd and 10th. Instead of a creek, the course swelled to become a lake encompassing nearly 22 acres. Groundkeeper, John DeLong says it’s the sixteenth time he’s had to deal with some type of flooding issue at the course. He figures this year’s flood event came within an inch of 2014’s high water mark. “There probably places on the course that were eight or nine feet deep then,” he said.
The grass which was once green is now brown. “We figure it will cost approximately $9,000 in seed to replant,” says Dorpinghaus. “It was the second water event which really did the fairways in. When the grass is underwater for that long, it just kills the grass.” In viewing the course there were several greens and fairways completely submerged. All of this along with approximately five inches of sand, silt, and mud has been keeping DeLong extremely busy attempting to get the course in shape to replant. In order to get down to the grass layer, DeLong used the sweeper to clear away the dried muck – sometimes numerous passes over countless days.
Along with the damage to the greens and fairways, the bridge from the number 7 tee box across the creek is now impassable. In addition, the structure which shored up the side of the creek along hole 8 is demolished. The number 2 tee box will have to be completely replanted due to the five to six inches of mud, silt, and sand on it for an extended period of time. Though the course of treatment hasn’t been easy (meaning access to the wet areas), DeLong says he, along with some volunteers, have managed to keep up with things as the water receded. Additionally, a considerable amount of debris had washed up onto the course as well as wrapping into the bridge structures.
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