The recent dry weather has finally allowed more opportunity to clean up a local state park that has been shut down for over a month.
In June, severe storms with 70 mph winds tore up thousands of trees at Marrow Mountain State Park near Albemarle and even now, many are barely hanging on, making it very dangerous for campers and hikers.
Eyewitness News found out each day the park has been closed is taking a major toll on the area's economy.
There is not much chatter coming out of the Badin Café these days.
"We've been about, let's see, 30-40 percent down," said Lindsay Krug.
Most of the business here comes from up the road at Morrow Mountain.
"That is our No. 1 tourist attraction out here," said Stanly County Commissioner Peter Ascuitto.
Ascuitto estimates the park brings in $2 million in revenue to the area every year. Most of the crowd usually comes in right about now – instead campers find this sign at the gate.
Eyewitness News took a tour of the damage to see how the cleanup was going and were shocked at the work left.
"We have about 34 miles of trails in this state park, today we have cleared only about 2.8 miles," said Greg Schneider.
Schneider said over a foot and a half of rain has fallen here since June.
Thick mud makes it nearly impossible to get trucks out to tree-littered campsites.
On Monday, some of the campsites are slated to reopen, but Schneider said some of the most popular trails will stay closed for months.
For the reopening, swimming and use of the pool area will be free of charge for all patrons on Monday. The pool is open daily during the summer months from 10 a.m. until 5:45 p.m. At the boathouse, the first hour of rental for rowboats, canoes, and paddleboats will be free of charge. Each additional hour of boating will be charged at $3 per hour. Boat rentals begin at 10 a.m. and boats can be rented until 5:30 p.m.
The following sections will remain closed:
Mountain Top Overlooks and Picnic Area
Picnic Shelter A
Bridle Trails and the Bridle Trail Parking Lot
Family Vacation Cabin 4
Backpack, Fall Mountain, Hattaway Mountain, Morrow mountain, Mountain Loop, Rocks, and Sugarloaf Mountain Trails