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Chino golf course, park, airport under water

January 4, 2011 12:00:00 AM PST
Recent rainstorms have created more flooding and damage in the Inland Empire. Businesses are suffering and hoping the water level in one flood control basin will drop soon. Two weeks after massive storms, flooding problems persist in the Chino area.

Parts of an airport and several businesses near the Prado Dam in the Chino Valley are still partly underwater as engineers wait for the dam's water level to lower.

The area just behind the Prado Dam was one of the hardest hit by recent rainstorms. About a quarter-mile stretch of Euclid Ave. remained underwater Tuesday. Area businesses face the same problem.

Golfers are going to have a tough time at one particular hole. The seventh green on the Chino Creek Golf Course is completely submerged.

The 36-hole El Prado Golf Courses location is open for business, but they've lost several holes because of storm damage.

It's bad news during one of the most important times of the year for business. It could be more than a week before they're fully operational.

"It's just a lot of debris, a lot of silt, a lot of potholes that are full of water, that are just going to take some time to dry out," said Bruce Janke, general manager of El Prado Golf Courses.

And just south of the golf course, it's not a boat ramp, even though it looks like it. It's actually the driveway to the shooting range, and it's underwater too.

"My brother wanted to take us shooting, but now unfortunately we can't. Maybe we can do some SCUBA shooting, I don't know," said Denver resident Connie Kim.

And unless you want to doggie-paddle, the Prado Recreation Dog Park isn't much of an option right now.

Not far away, the Corona Municipal Airport is still partly underwater.

All of these businesses are located behind the Prado Dam. So with a lot of rain, this does happen.

Two weeks ago, the water level at the dam was at a record high: 529 feet above sea level. It's dropped to around 519 feet right now. But there's still a long way to go to reach 498 feet, which is normal.

"We understand that it's had some adverse impacts, especially to the airport up behind Prado, it's shut down the golf course, and we're understanding of people's wishes that we get everything back to normal as quickly as possible and that's our goal," said Greg Fuderer, Army Corps of Engineers.

Some have asked why they can't release the water at a faster rate. The Army Corps of Engineers says there are two main concerns: First, the integrity of the Santa Ana riverbanks farther downstream; second, there's a wastewater line that goes through the area that they are concerned about damaging.

It will reportedly be about 10 to 15 days minimum before the water will be gone.