Thursday, January 28, 2010

Fieldale Trail Phase ll flood damage

The January 23 flood brought the Smith River to levels it has not seen in many years.
Along with rising waters came the mud and debris. The waters crested around 4:00 in the am and had receded to a few feet above flood stage by mid-afternoon
The waters came....they went...they left behind lost of mud and debris

The parking lot is covered n a coating of mud and debris is washed against the banks, picnic table, canoe racks, split rail fence

The Fieldale / Koehler area was one of the low-lying regions that was hit hardest.
The Fieldale Trail, Fieldale Park and Jordan Park all suffered damage due to debris and mud and we lost split rail fencing as well.  It could of been worse and for all the damage the trail still held up well. It will be a while before the mud dries out enough to be packed down for walking but the clean-up process has already begun.

                                                   Limbs and trees washed up across the trail

The Friends of the Fieldale Trail have been out accessing the damage and planning the best approach for dealing with the debris and mud.  Caution signs have been installed to warn visitors of potential hazards.  Right now, the wrecked parking lot, downed and missing fence, trees and debris are major problems

Hopefully we can get the trail restored to a useable state soon. The power of the water is evident everywhere and we are thankful that the bridge is still intact and there are no major washouts along the trail.  Mother Nature will do much of the healing with new growth and  it will be interesting to monitor the changes that may occur in the flora along the banks.

Some plantings will be installed to help stabilize the river bank (riparian areas) as resources become available

 In the above photo you can see the high water mark on the left hand bank of the trail (river is on the right)
 Mud covered bridge.  Debris on the railing indicates water had covered the handrail..but the bridge stayed !
The section along the power lines was scoured clean by the flood, down to  the old gravel and ruble

 While further down the trail in the lowest areas, a blanket of mud remained after the waters receded


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