Park Board working on storm recovery

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June 24, 2013 // UPDATED 12:13 pm - June 25, 2013
By: Gabrielle Martinson
Gabrielle Martinson
Removal of downed trees continues. Residents have several options for disposing of fallen limbs and branches

The Minneapolis Parks and Recreation Board is continuing to clear debris and reopen sites after several powerful storms tore through Minneapolis last Friday, leaving widespread damage and power outages.

According to a post on the board’s website, clearing trees and other blockages from streets was the main priority of the Park Board on Monday. The board listed seven locations that remain blocked with trees tangled in power lines that would stay closed until Xcel Energy is able to remove the lines.

The Park Board also began removing boulevard trees from homes, garages and other structures on Monday. Two large cranes will assist in the effort to remove the trees on Tuesday, and Communications and Marketing Manager Dawn Sommers said the Park Board intends to have fallen boulevard trees removed from homes and garages by the end of the week.

The Park Board’s next step will be to remove any boulevard trees that pose a threat of falling before they begin clearing fallen trees and storm debris from parks.

The Park Board reopened all of its recreation centers Monday after three were closed due to power outages. All golf courses were open as well, although courses might still be wet and soggy as a result of heavy rain.

Fallen trees tangled in power lines on Cedar South Beach, a large sinkhole in Marshall Terrace athletic field and a tree in the pool at Stewart Park wading pool kept those three sites closed Monday. Fallen trees were also blocking North Mississippi Regional Park trails. Park trails for the most part were useable, although mud and debris might remain on some paths.

The Park Board noted small branches and brush from the storm would be picked up with the regular weekly collection of yard waste. Residents can bundle the brush together and leave it out for pickup on their normal garbage day.

Residents can also bring tree debris to two collection sites until Saturday: Metro Wood Recycling, 51 34th Ave. N., or the Fort Snelling Site, 6200 Bloomington Rd.

The Park Board also plans a free tree debris pickup July 1–12. Residents can bring larger tree limbs and trunks to the boulevard in front of their houses for board crews to pick up.

For the latest updates on the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board’s s storm response, visit minneapolisparks.org.

UPDATE: 

Park Board Superintendent Jayne Miller said Tuesday there were no exact figures on the number of trees Park Board crews  cleaned up after the storm, but she guessed over 1,000 trees had been cleared so far. 

“I really think this was tougher than the tornado as far as extensive damage goes,” Miller said. “The tornado damage was really in one area, but this has been so widespread.”

Miller said Park Board staff had done a “phenomenal” job of forming a plan and working tirelessly to clean up streets and reopen sites.