Dunes Creek / Dunes River? Aerial photo shows the collapsed Indiana Dunes
State Park main parking lot. The Pavilion is at lower right. The parking lot
collapsed during the heavy rains September 13 and 14. Photo was taken by John
W. Cripliver, pilot of a Piper Warrior single-engine airplane on Sept. 17.
The darker water of Dunes Creek is shown flowing into Lake Michigan at
(Photo provided by John W. Cripliver)
A design consultant has been selected to prepare options for restoring the
parking lot at the Indiana Dunes State Park that collapsed due to the recent
flooding from Dunes Creek.
State Park Property Manager Brandt Baughman said the design firm of Troyer is
scheduled to present its conceptual plans on Monday. Troyer is the same firm
that designed the state park’s upgraded campground as well as the Dunes Creek
“day lighting” project, in which the parking lot over part of the creek was
After the torrential rainfall that began on Sept. 13, Dunes Creek overflowed
with floodwaters, resulting in a collapse of part of the parking lot east of
the pavilion and eroding away a large section of beach surrounding the creek
Baughman said the park’s primary responsibility at this point is to stabilize
the collapsed area so that further erosion doesn’t occur. “Obviously, we’re
wanting to get repairs made as soon as possible,” he said.
Exactly how the lot can be repaired, while ensuring that another collapse
won’t occur, is expected to be outlined in the design options to be
Baughman said the parking lot collapse was not the result of the daylighting
project. To the contrary, he said the daylighting project created a large
catch basin for water, since the creek was allowed to flow a more natural
course without a parking lot above it. “The day lighting project actually
minimized the damage,” he said.
Baughman: TV News Was Wrong
Baughman also corrected a claim made by some television news reports: The
water entering Lake Michigan from Dunes Creek is not raw sewage but
stormwater flowing out of the creek’s outlet pipe.