Mother Nature has dealt two more blows to Hannibal's Riverview Park, which saw numerous trees toppled by high winds on May 20. The latest damage has come in the form of two trail-covering landslides along the southern branch of the North River Road Trail that parallels the Mississippi River.
"It's two significant landslides," said Andy Dorian, director of the Hannibal Parks & Recreation Department. "We unfortunately have an enormous amount of dirt and trees, dozens and dozens of large trees, and boulders (on the trail). It's a mess. I think that area of the trail will be closed down for quite some time."
The landslides, which apparently happened some time last weekend, were a big surprise.
"I personally had been down to the end of the trail three times in the days after the (May 20) storm and it was completely fine. There were some trees down, but there was no landslide," said Dorian, who learned Monday of the landslides. "We were kind of shocked."
Clearing the slide area is not a top priority.
"We're trying to get the park open first. Then we'll address the landslides," said Dorian.
This is not the first time a landslide has closed the trail in approximately that same area. In May 2009, the popular walking trail was closed for a few weeks after a hillside came down.
At this point, Dorian won't hazard a guess regarding what it will cost to re-open that section of the trail.
"Even to do one of them (slide areas) is going to be a significant amount of money," he said. "We're probably going to have to look at bringing in an engineer to first evaluate the area."
In 2009, it was initially estimated the cleanup would cost between $30,000 and $50,000. However, a local contractor performed the work for $8,750.
Considering the area's history of landslides, Dorian admits he's questioning if a major investment is worthwhile.
"We're going to have to evaluate two different things. Is it worth spending the money to clean it up? Is it even safe to open it up again if we we're able to clean it back up?" he asked. "The last thing we want is to spend all this money cleaning it up and then a month later, or year later have another (landslide) come down and injure, or even kill somebody."