Kanopolis State Park officials continue flood cleanup as they prepare for winter weather

Local

MARQUETTE, Kan. (KSNW) – It’s two weeks into fall and winter is on the way.

While some of Kansas is preparing for snow, others are still cleaning up after spring floods, including state parks.

“It’s disheartening,” said Jason Sunderland, park manager at Kanopolis State Park.

It’s been a busy summer for Sunderland and others at the park and not necessarily for reasons he would like.

“Just due to the road erosion,” he said. “We’ve got part of the road that’s completely gone or its right next to a 30 foot drop off.”

One of the campgrounds is not the only area closed off.

A large portion of the park’s 26 mile trail is also blocked off the visitors.

“Damage, erosion, everything from fallen boulders to damaged trees,” said Sunderland.

Flood damage has cost the park a $90,000 loss in revenue and nearly 66,000 visitors so far this year.

“It’s going to take a lot of work, and I hope the public respects that,” said Sunderland.

With the help of volunteers, Kanopolis’ five employees continue clean-up.

“Made it more manageable for everybody lighten the load for us all,” said Sunderland.

And he hopes upcoming storms don’t ruin their hard work.

“Some of us are a little worried if we get into another wet winter like we did last winter, and then we’re going into spring and the ground is already going to be saturated, it’s not going to be able to hold that water,” said Sunderland.

He also reminds people not to go to any areas that are blocked off.

Park officials have already had to help people who became lost at closed off parts of the park.

Last month, 15 volunteers cleaned up about 1.5 miles of trail.

They are doing another clean-up day on October 19.

Volunteers are asked to check in at the park office at 8:30 a.m.

They should bring work gloves, sunscreen, bug spray and a sack lunch.

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