Several of the parks and wildlife areas suffered during the past few storms. In most cases that is an understatement. I already related Wolf Creek Recreation Area and those tree woes last week complete with pictures.
Well, I'm pleased to report that great strides were made by our crew during the past week and the picnicking areas and electrical portion of the Wolf Creek campground reopened for the July 11 weekend. There are still damaged trees in these areas that eventually will need to be removed but the danger trees have been addressed. I suspect that we will be seeing the results of this storm for years to come.
The west end of the park where the tent camping areas and one restroom are located will remain closed off for an indefinite period of time. The reason being that the debris pile from the storm was located in the back parking area there. The debris pile is enormous.
The covered bridge/shelter on the Comet Trail near Conrad is now cleared of wind debris from the June 30 storm. Only 5 and a half miles to go!
Photo by Kevin Williams
As far as our crew and the work that lies ahead, I can tell you that the chipper has been borrowed (an industrial grade chipper) and work began Monday on the Comet Trail near Conrad. Between using that and our skidloader, we will "chew" our way down the trail cutting and grinding, and our way down the trail. The first day's report, sadly, was clearing of only a couple hundred yards. Unfortunately, adding to this very slow process is the fact that regular summer things continue like mowing grass, cleaning campgrounds, etc.
The unseasonably cool weather we have experienced the past few days has made this cleanup work much more bearable. Our only companions on the trail during this time, however, have been the mosquitoes.
I will be meeting with a representative of Iowa Homeland Security and Emergency Management this week to begin work in assessments and determination if assistance can/will be received to aid in what work has already been done and is yet to be. We ask people to be patient as the progress on the trail continues. In our case, the damages from these storms are now higher than those in 2013.