An aeromodeling club in California is celebrating after reopening its gate for flying. The Salinas Area Modelers of Salinas flying site was closed throughout the first half of 2023 because of extensive flooding. On June 17, roughly 40 volunteers showed up to help clean up the field that was damaged by two floods.
California was hit by heavy flooding in January 2023 that caused rivers to spill past their banks. This included the Salinas River, located near the Salinas Area Modelers club.
“The first time the field was under about 2 inches of water at the high point of the field,” stated Salinas Area Modelers Club President Robert McGregor.
The club applied for and was awarded a $500 Club Disaster Relief Grant in March for the first round of flooding in January. The club was again hit with flooding in March after atmospheric rivers, which are airborne corridors of water vapor, again caused heavy rainfall. “This time (in March) it was more than a foot and our entry road [was] washed out,” Robert stated. June 17 was the first day that the club members could access the field.
The club planned to use the grant funds to clean up the runway, which was covered by sticky clay mud. That day finally arrived on June 29. Salinas Area Modelers rented a sweeper machine to make the runway usable.
The organization's entry gate is now usable and has new signs. There is still more work to be done. Standing water damaged the runway's surface, and storage containers and their contents. The group celebrated the club field being reopened by putting up a patriotic windsock.
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