MCCURTAIN COUNTY, OK (KSLA) - Just a few weeks ago, the Army Corp of Engineers opened the floodgates at Broken Bow Lake in Beavers Bend State Park for just one of a handful of times in its history, and the second time in less than seven months.
Jim Miller, park manager with Beavers Bend State Park has been with the park for 32 years. He says he's never seen anything close to the devastation caused by recent flooding.
From bridges washed away, to shops taken off their foundations, to landscapes, which should have taken a small creek millions of years to carve out, changed forever in just a few days time.
Water is still flowing from the spillway, so damage cannot be completely assessed. The main waterline has been cut due to flooding, and until the spillway is closed, the line cannot be fixed meaning the park cannot be reopened. Miller says he would estimate costs could be in the millions.
Locals say the economy around Beavers Bend is fed by tourism. January and February are the down months, so impacts aren't felt as strongly as they were when the park closed for a week in the summer due to flooding.
"This winter, I'm just afraid that it has done more damage - more permanent damage - we've got more time now, but what I was saying before spring break we may feel that," says local businessman of Girls Gone Wine, Terry Walker.
Officials are hopeful the park will be able to reopen before Valentine's Day. Many cabins have already been rented, and it would be another hit to lose potential visitors if the park cannot open for the holiday weekend.
A Go Fund Me account has been set up by the Friends of Beavers Bend at Beavers Bend State Park to purchase equipment to help speed along the process of clearing out debris.
If you would like to donate you can find more information here.