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updated: 4/19/2013 2:37 PM

Naperville's beach hit hard, but Memorial Day opening on track

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  • Video: Downtown Naperville flooding

  • Centennial Beach is missing its beach, as floodwaters from the DuPage River entering the former quarry have caused the swimming area to spill well over its banks, almost to the bathhouse.

       Centennial Beach is missing its beach, as floodwaters from the DuPage River entering the former quarry have caused the swimming area to spill well over its banks, almost to the bathhouse.
    Daniel White | Staff Photographer

 
 

Naperville's Centennial Beach, after several hours of the DuPage River rushing into it, is inaccessible, and officials expect the damage to be "significant."

Parks Executive Director Ray McGury said Friday morning that this flood is "much worse than the one we experienced in 2008," when the river also flowed into and through the beach.

"It's hard to gauge the amount of damage since we can't get to anything inside the beach but I surmise it will be significant," McGury said. "The beach has overflown to the point where we needed to sandbag behind our administrative building, which gives an indication of how far the water has traveled."

Despite not knowing the level of potential damage, McGury said he is confident his staff will have Centennial Beach prepared for its Memorial Day weekend opening.

"I am very optimistic that we will have the beach open for business Memorial Day weekend, barring another reminder from Mother Nature of how powerful she is."

As for other parks facilities, McGury said the lower level of the DuPage River Sports Complex and Prairie Park were hardest hit.

"We have had baseball fields literally washed away and, as you might expect, the turf is saturated so it will be some time before we get everything back online," McGury said.

Centennial Beach is scheduled to open for swimming at 11 a.m. May 25.

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