Discovery Park Completely Reopens after Winter Flooding

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 SACRAMENTO -- After months of closures and cleanup, the river waters have receded enough for Discovery Park to reopen.

"This place was under water, and it's taken a lot to get back to its usual condition," said County Supervisor Phil Serna.

Parts of Discovery Park were open for the Memorial Day weekend, but the entire park was able to reopen Friday. That's good for visitors like the Khang family, who have had to find another fishing spot.

"No river access, can't drop off the boat," Chu Khang said. "No fishing."

County officials held a grand reopening event of sorts at the park Friday featuring food trucks and bounce houses. Entry was free as long as visitors posted a photo to social media of them wearing a life jacket -- something the fire department wants to keep pushing.

In 2015, there were 11 drowning deaths in Sacramento County. After introducing life jacket loaner programs, there was none in 2016 despite a few close calls.

"A young man tried to swim across the river. He was about half-way across, becoming tired, cold, began calling for help, he was not wearing a life jacket," Sacramento Fire Department spokesperson Chris Harvey said.

Luckily, a boat was in the right place at the right time and saved the man's life. Rescuers hope his story inspires people, especially during this holiday weekend, to have fun safely.

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