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Hannibal Courier - Post - Hannibal, MO
  • Parks Department working to reopen portion of Riverview Park

  • It’s been almost three weeks since high winds damaged hundreds of trees in Hannibal’s Riverview Park. But the whine of chainsaws is still a common sound in the park as the cleanup continues.
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  • It’s been almost three weeks since high winds damaged hundreds of trees in Hannibal’s Riverview Park. But the whine of chainsaws is still a common sound in the park as the cleanup continues.
    Work is progressing to the point where Andy Dorian, director of the Hannibal Parks & Recreation Department, is considering reopening a portion of the historic park to the public.
    “Right now we are clear to the four-way stop in the park. We’ve cleared that of all dangerous trees right now. We’re currently working around the playground and back around. The goal would be to get to around the playground, block off the road to the very back of the park where Shelter No. 3 is, and at least have access to the playground area, bathrooms and shelter so that people can still rent the shelter, and kids can play on the playground. People would also have a pretty good chunk of road to walk on,” he said.
    Dorian estimates it could take up to two weeks to reopen that section of the park.
    “If we’re able to get it open quicker, we’ll get it open quicker,” he said. “As soon as it’s ready to go we’ll open it, whether it be a Tuesday or weekend.”
    Once the area to the playground is open, Parks Department personnel will turn their attention to the reopening of the overlooks.
     
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    On some days the cleanup efforts are hindered because workers are busy asking people to leave the still-closed park. Earlier this week walkers, joggers and motorists were ignoring barricades 
    “It’s dumbfounding to me,” said Dorian. “It’s a concern for us because we’re dropping enormous trees and we’re running a lot of trucks and big tractors. Our thing is safety for ourselves, doing all this work, and now to compound that we’ve got to be looking around for people wandering in. It’s not a safe place for people to be right now.”
    At times police help clear the park.
    “They have been running people out which is great for us. They’ve not issued tickets. We don’t want to do that unless it just becomes unbearable,” said Dorian.
    Work in Riverview Park will continue for some time, according to Dorian.
    “We’ll be removing trees in Riverview Park in some shape or form for months and months and months to come, whether it be in the back of the park, or on the trails,” he said, noting that thus far only Parks Department personnel have been utilized in the cleanup. “Right now we’re working from the front entrance to the playground and we’ve made a lot of progress. But this is an enormous park with a lot of different areas and there’s still a lot of work left to be done.”
    Page 2 of 2 - Because efforts have been focused in Riverview Park, other parks are still pretty much as they were following the May 20 storm.
    “There’s a lot of parks we have not even touched yet. Huckleberry is one of them. Ann Dorsey (Hodgdon Park) has not been touched. The lighthouse hasn’t been touched,” said Dorian. “Ann Dorsey and Huckleberry have a lot of damage.”

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