Kiroli park recovers from Hurricane Laura damage; Almost all the trails are closed until debris is cleared


WEST MONROE, La (KTVE/KARD) — What’s usually a clean, peaceful park, was left with debris from trees and leaves after Hurricane Laura ripped through the ArkLaMiss. While the main part of Kiroli park is reopened, the trails on the other hand are covered by collapsed trees.

“We also had about 63 trees that were potential hazards or obstructing trails and ways of getting through. A lot of hangers in the trees that were just extremely dangerous for anybody to walk–and you couldn’t even, it was not passible,” said Haley Martin, Kiroli Park Manager.

But while trees are collapsed throughout the trails, Martin says the damage to the park could’ve been a lot worse.

“We were really lucky and fortunate that we only had one structure damaged and that’s Woodrow’s Bridge, but everything else, I mean we got very…very fortunate,” said Martin.

She says even looking at the debris on the road after Laura, was shocking.

“We had to plow over a lot of the branches cause you couldn’t see the roads, you couldn’t even see the grass. You didn’t even know what ended where. It was bad,” said Martin.

And thanks to a group of volunteers, Kiroli park was able to reopen shortly after the storm.

“They did a great job, I mean I don’t know what we would’ve done–we wouldn’t have been able to open it within a week without them. We worked very hard and it was a lot of work.”

As for cleaning up the trails, Martin says they do have a plan in place, however, the time frame to complete it, isn’t clear.

“Do one trail at a time. Just get in there, get one clear, get it open, and then get onto the next trail and open that next one and just keep going so forth and take it one step at a time,” said Martin.

While most of the trails are still closed, the learning trail that wraps around by the dog park, all the playgrounds, and the rentable areas are open to the public. The dog park is closed to the public until they can clear out fallen trees.

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