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Aida-influenced Montgomery County trail

NORRISTOWN — More than a month later Hurricane Ida It caused havoc in Montgomery County, but its impact is still under evaluation. One of the areas that was hit hard was a trail used by thousands of recreational enthusiasts in the county.

“It was a perfect storm. After these record-breaking storms and these flood level storms, it means you never predict the amount of damage. Some damage was expected, but not so much. It wasn’t, “said David Clifford, head of parks, trails and historic sites in Montgomery County.

Clifford estimated that the county trail, about three miles, was damaged. This can result in hundreds of thousands of dollars in cleanup costs.

“Some of them are removing all the debris and deposits, which is like hindering people’s progress in using the trails,” he said. “But in areas where the actual trail material has been lost and washed away, it is necessary to bring in contractors who need to fill those spaces with soil and stone and then repaved.

“In some cases, it was necessary to replace the drain under the trail or clean the drain that was clogged with too many debris.”

Most of the county’s trail systems, including both the Parkioment Rail and the School Kill River Trail, were closed while the crew investigated the damage and made the necessary repairs, Clifford said.

“We opened most of the Perkiomen Tail within about a week, and … we opened most of the Schuylkill River Trail within the last two weeks,” Clifford said. “There are still sections for both the Perkiomen and School Kill River Trails.[s] It is currently closed. “

Both trails follow record-level flooded waterways (Parkiomen Creek and Schoolkill River) due to heavy rains associated with Aida.

According to the National Weather Service, the Schuylkill River in Norristown culminated at 26.85 feet on September 2, 13 feet above the flood level. Greaterford’s Parkiomen Creek was at the summit at 20.62 feet. Both were the highest levels ever recorded.

“These two waterways have caused a lot of damage to the trails in these two areas,” Clifford said.

Wisah Contrail

The Wisahicon Creek also flooded during the storm last month, washing away the band of the popular Green Ribbon Trail maintained by the Wisahicon Trail Association. Gail Farmer said at the peak of Aida, the water level gauge was just under 18 feet, which is “quite important.”

According to Madalinnev, a communications specialist at the Wisahikon Trail, the Wisahikon Trail runs about 10.5 miles of the Green Ribbon Trail along the Wisahikon Creek from Upper Gwinned to Stenton Avenue near Eldenheim. I’m keeping it. Part of the route is also within Fort Washington State Park.

Farmer and Nature Maintenance Director John Ferro evaluated the damage after the storm.

According to Ferro, road closures associated with the storm took several days for representatives to walk the length of the Green Ribbon Trail. The entire trail was then closed along with three reserves to identify areas of interest. According to Ferro, it took about three weeks to restart the entire trail.

“The trail is open, but there are sections that have changed, it’s clearly different, and there’s work we need to do to make it more user-friendly,” Ferro said.

“All storms are different because streams are so dynamic. One of the real implications for floods is when you have infrastructure that crosses streams and the streams are moving debris.” Said Farmer.

She added that “a large tree was carried downstream by the flood, creating some sort of blockage beneath it,” on a rotary bridge along a stream past Butler Avenue in Ambler.

Wind damage was also a factor. The EF-2 tornado landed on September 1st, causing 8 miles of damage in the towns of Upper Dublin and Horsham.

County equipment destroyed

In the county system, Clifford said trail points in Conshohocken, Norristown and Whitemarsh Township were damaged.

“Perquioment rails are a combination of asphalt and crushed stone, or burnt, so some areas have been completely washed away, some have been blown away, and some have actually remained intact, so we went to these trails. There were many different effects of this, “he said.

You can see uprooted trees under the bridge along the Green Ribbon Trail.Photo provider Jamie Stewart

Clifford has identified part of the Pennypack Trail through Huntingdon Valley’s Lorimar Park as another route damaged as a result of the storm.

“It’s really just for rainfall, and the area is very densely developed,” he said. “So I contribute more to the stormwater outflow, but because of hurricane Ida.”

As the cleanup effort began, Clifford realized a serious obstacle. Some equipment in Region 1, headquartered in Oaks Lower Parkio Metsä Park, was destroyed when Parkiomen flooded the park.

“Most of the problem, or why it got worse, was because we didn’t have the equipment, tools, or vehicles to go out and handle the cleanup in Region 1,” he said.Commissioner of Montgomery County last week Approved purchase To replace lawnmowers, gaiters and other items destroyed by the flood.

Farmer and Clifford emphasized that safety was important when the remnants of Ida damaged the trail system throughout Montgomery County.

“I think it’s important for people to understand when a storm has to close a trail. I hope the community won’t go out when the trail is actually closed. It’s very helpful, “says Farmer. .. “There is a lot of activity on the trail even when it’s closed. I’m worried because no one wants to hurt … because when it’s closed I’m worried about safety conditions.”

Aida-influenced Montgomery County trail

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