Hogs for the Cause, heavy rain do a number on City Park Festival Ground

Hogs for the Cause, heavy rain do a number on City Park Festival Ground

NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - The cleanup is underway in New Orleans City Park after herds of festival goers and mother nature did quite a number on the park grounds.

Now, park officials are looking to see what can be done to keep future festivals dry.

From pallets to potholes, the festival and recreation grounds at City Park show the wear and tear of this past weekend's Hogs for the Cause festival.

City Park's John Hopper says the scars are par for the course.

"When you get 15,000 to 20,000 feet on top of grass and it's all wet it turns to mud," Hopper said.

Hopper said the weather, and the contours of the park, made the problem much bigger.

"We had four inches of rain the Sunday before Hogs for the Cause and five-and-a-half inches Friday, the day it was supposed to open. So, no matter what anybody did, we were going have some flooding problems, and we did," he said.

Crews used pumps to clear some of the standing water. They also laid down pallets and hay in an effort to preserve the grounds and keep festival goers out of the mud.

But when heavy equipment is used on soft ground, both to set up and take down stages and lights, sparing the landscape is a lost cause.

All in all, Hopper says Hogs attendees just rolled with it.

"We live in southeast Louisiana. We get a lot of rain. Everybody's been to Jazz Fest when it turns muddy. You party on, and you eat on," Hopper said.

And he says what Mother Nature wrecked, Mother Nature will repair. Dry, sunny days are already helping to nurse the grounds back to health. Hogs organizers will be responsible for the cleanup.  And Hopper said the process can always improve to handle mother nature's worst.

"For some reason, a couple of our big lakes that normally drain outside of the festival ground were not draining," Hopper said. "So we're looking into that, working with the city to see was something clogged. Was it just because of the amount of rain? And then we check our catch basins here."

Everyone is hoping next year's Hogs for the Cause is drier, bigger and better.

Hopper says some areas that were damaged during Voodoo Fest last fall, including the soccer fields, weren't used this past weekend.

They should be back in service soon as well.

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