On Thursday and Friday, for the fifth time in 2018, the Joseph McDowell Historical Catawba Greenway experienced flooding, this time from Hurricane Michael.
The year of 2018 is already the wettest year on record in Marion and McDowell County, based on information that the city of Marion has received. The Catawba River greenway has been closed since Wednesday due to the flooding. The city of Marion has conducted a preliminary damage assessment of the greenway and determined that there is considerable mud, silt and debris on the greenway, that some fence and bridge damage has occurred and that gravel screenings were washed away from the exercise stations and amphitheater, according to a news release.
Based on the initial inspection, it appears that the greenway pavement remains intact, the bridges and piers are structurally sound and the majority of fencing is in good condition.
The city will conduct further assessments to provide a more accurate picture of the damage and the projected timeline for and the cost of the cleanup and repairs. At this point, the city estimates that the greenway may be closed for a period of at least three weeks while the damage assessment is completed, a discussion is held with county, State and federal officials about a possible federal disaster declaration and cleanup and repairs are done.
In the interest of safety and to avoid further damage to the greenway, city officials are asking the public to heed all closures and do not cross any barricades or closed signs on the greenway or any trails. The city will strive to complete the cleanup work and reopen the greenway as soon as possible. The city thanks the public for its patience while the Greenway is temporarily closed and as everyone continues to deal with the wettest year on record locally and the numerous tropical systems that have impacted Marion and McDowell County, according to the news release.
For more information, contact the Public Works Department at 652-4224.