One of the poles, of a type they had not seen at this point in the investigation, was completely blown off. The other 3 poles were much worse off. Sandy’s force blew them off completely on the north side and off the south side towards the south end (West of Interstate 5 in this area). There were no reports of downed telephone lines or power lines.
“It was amazing the power lines weren’t down,” said Jim Muehlenkamp, of the Greenway Center which operates the trail. It’s not the first time that debris from Sandy hit the trail on this part of the trail. A broken telephone pole hit the Westside Trail in June. “This is the third windstorm and the first time it’s been in a little bit of flooding,” Muehlenkamp explained. “It’s just wonderful this kind of a big storm hasn’t struck at the Greenway.”
The trail was closed several times in the storm. The Southside Trail was rerouted around mileposts, although it opened right in time for the first segment of the Sandy Trail. The Greenway also received many reports of debris from the recent thunderstorm. “We had quite a little bit of damage, but not anywhere near the amount we’ve seen in some cities down south,” Muehlenkamp said.”It’s a real pleasure to see that the trail is really continuing to move east, and this is just another indication that we’ll be on our way in the coming days.” A large piece of downed power line was found on the Eastside Trail on Sunday. “We’ve only really had debris, but of course, when you have power lines that are so damaged you go to the beach and pull them out,” Muehlenkamp said. It wasn’t clear what caused the collapse. Muehlenkamp said crews would be carefully cleaning the tree by tree and making sure there was no more damage before reopening the trail. Once the damage was assessed, it will go before the Regional Parks and Natural Areas Commission, but Muehlenkamp was confident that the tree will be saved. “We’ve had quite a bit of damage here, but not anywhere near the amount we’ve seen in some cities down south.” Trail crews are also still assessing damage. “This is a massive debris storm and so many of our trees have been blown off and it’s going to take a lot longer to replace these trees,” Muehlenkamp continued. “We will need to do a lot of tree removal (and) we’re going to have to reroute this trail.”
Update: the Southside Trail is open at its usual trailhead, 2240 East Washington Pkwy. We appreciate your understanding and feedback in light of this situation. We’ll keep you updated as this story develops.