LEAVENWORTH — Landing Park could be open in time for Memorial Day weekend, a city official said.
The downtown Leavenworth park has been closed since it was flooded by the Missouri River in March. But city personnel have started to clean the park.
Steve Grant, director of the Leavenworth Parks and Recreation Department, was using a uniloader Thursday to pick up silt and sand from the park.
“Basically it’s just scraping it off,” he said of the work.
Grant estimated that 95 percent of the material left behind by the flood is sand.
He said the sand and silt are now being used to rebuild areas of the river bank that were washed out by the flooding.
The city of Leavenworth experienced its second worst flood on record earlier this year. The Missouri River rose to 31.3 feet in March. The river reaches its flood stage at a depth of 20 feet.
Grant said the Parks and Recreation Department has been short-staffed in recent weeks with grass mowing and other park activities. And this has delayed the reopening of Landing Park.
Grant hopes to have the park’s trail ready in time for Memorial Day weekend. But he said there may be a chance that other areas of the park will still have silt.
He said the grassy areas of the park will have to be reseeded. This may not take place until the fall.
The bridge tender’s building located in the park was flooded. And the floor of the building will have to be replaced.
Grant said trees in the park seem to have survived the flooding, at least so far.
He said one tree, which had been planted in the park as a legacy tree, was lost after the flood when it was taken down by a beaver.
The Riverfront Park, which is the site of a campground along the river, also was flooded in March and remains closed.
Grant said the Parks and Recreation Department will begin focusing on cleaning up Riverfront Park once Landing Park has reopened and enough personnel are available.
Mike McDonald, director of the Leavenworth Public Works Department, estimates the city government’s expenses resulting from the March flood total more than $300,000.