OGDEN -- The pain of spring flooding that sent water flowing over the banks of the Weber River is still being felt by those who have traditionally enjoyed recreational activities at Ogden's formerly pristine Serge Simmons Field.
The baseball park, on James Brown Drive off 24th Street and A Avenue, is closed for the season because floodwaters pushed down fences and left a marshy surface.
Light poles for the baseball diamond stand in a river that wasn't there before.
Officials aren't sure if they'll be able to restore the field to its former self even for next year because of a high price tag and government regulations associated with moving the newly formed river.
"It was so sad," said Ed Bridge, city recreation manager. "It's amazing what the water can do and how fast it has taken over down there."
The original 1994 home to the Ogden Raptors minor league baseball team, the field has been a prime Ogden city recreation spot since the Raptors left for their current downtown home at Lindquist Field in 1997.
And the Ogden city recreation department is feeling the loss as deeply as ever this weekend.
Friday started an eight-day statewide Babe Ruth tournament for 16 teams of 13- and 14-year-olds.
The winners will go on to regional play against teams from California, Hawaii, Arizona and Guam for spots in the Babe Ruth World Series.
Ogden was chosen to host the tournament specifically because of favorable reviews last year when the city hosted the tournament for 15-year-olds at Serge Simmons Field.
"It's like you've been taken out of the city and into a field of dreams," Bridge said, noting a backcountry feel to the area surrounded by trees, Weber County's Fort Buenaventura and an unobstructed view of the mountains.
"You really feel like you are no longer in a city when you are down there."
City officials have moved this weekend's tournament to Ogden 4th Street Park, which can accommodate the event, but Bridge said it won't be the same.
"It's really a softball complex," he said, noting the dugouts are smaller at the 4th Street venue.
"The fences aren't as far. ... And you just can't beat that atmosphere down there" at Serge Simmons Field.
The city's competitive and recreational baseball teams and some flag football teams that have used Serge Simmons Field in the past also were moved to the 4th Street Park and other venues this year.
Perry Huffaker, city public works and parks manager, said it may be awhile before officials will know if there is anything that can be done about the problem.
"We need to see what the river is going to finish doing," he said, pointing to excess water still in the river system.
Huffaker said it could be the end of August before an assessment may be done.
That assessment will include the cost and the ramifications of government regulations, he said.
"Our intent has always been to support our parks, and to support our parks, we have to get them back to the way they were," Huffaker said.
"Our recreation program is growing by leaps and bounds. We need to be able to use those parks."