Flooding sports fields cause big problems in Gaston

Published: Apr. 18, 2023 at 10:09 PM PDT
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GASTON Ore. (KPTV) - The small town of Gaston is big on baseball and softball, but some residents are complaining that their fields are unplayable at least once or twice a year due to flooding.

Some are blaming a federal agency for it, rather than the elements.

“When we get the extraordinary rain, we get a lot of water and it’s got to go somewhere,” 35-year Gaston resident David Wismer said.

Often, community members say it’s being built up at Brown Park, which has a couple baseball and softball diamonds.

Some blame the fields flooding on the US Fish and Wildlife Service for pumping water out of a nearby lake.

However, the service says the water goes upstream and in a different direction. They also added that they’ve stopped pumping in the past, and the fields still flood.

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“They’ve been pumping that out since 1960,” Wismer said, “--and it’s nothing new.”

Unfortunately, Wismer also noted that the fields flooding is something that is not new.

“We almost always flood in April,” he said. “Whether it’s the beginning of April or the end of April.”

In other words, rounding the bases is often impossible this time of year, which some partially attribute to how low they are compared to the surrounding area.

Wismer would like to see his hometown come up with a way to fix the fields flooding, as it just seems to happen year after year.

“I think it’s pretty darn important, because we have six little league teams and then high school,” he explained. “They’ve got four teams.”