Sully Creek State Park near Medora may not open until July due to floodingSully Creek State Park, south of Medora, is among North Dakota state parks impacted by spring flooding. It closed at the end of May and might not open until July, a park official said Wednesday.
By: By Jennifer McBride, The Dickinson Press
Sully Creek State Park, south of Medora, is among North Dakota state parks impacted by spring flooding. It closed at the end of May and might not open until July, a park official said Wednesday.
Sully Creek Manager Dan Schelske said the Little Missouri River is back in its banks and now the clean-up begins.
The 35-campsite park lost 30 to 50 feet of land from the riverbank, he said.
“It’s way more than we’ve ever experienced,” he said.
A park ranger lives in a cabin in the park and getting that inhabitable is priority, he said. A shop, shower house and campsites also need to be cleaned up and sandbags around buildings must be removed.
“It’s just as hard taking them down as putting them in,” Schelske said.
Part of the Maah Daah Hey Trail also washed out and will be rerouted.
It may be July before the park opens, North Dakota Parks and Recreation Department Public Information Officer Gordon Weixel said Wednesday.
Park closures across the state will likely impact finances, he said. The system projects a 10-15 percent loss in revenue, which is about $450,000, Weixel said.
“Once Memorial Day weekend starts — June, July, August is our big time of year,” he said, adding the last few years, more than 1 million people visited the parks.
Operating expenses come through user fees from the 13 state parks, Weixel said. The state general fund provides for updates and facilities.
Weixel said not only will a loss of revenue impact the parks but it’s going to take money for maintenance to get those flooded areas up to par.
Volunteers are not needed at Sully Creek but may be in the future.
“At this point and time we don’t really know what we are going to need to do,” Schelske said.
The work of those who helped out as the river was rising is appreciated.
“If I had my cowboy hat on, I’d tip it to those city folk, from Medora and neighbors and friends, who donated their sore aching backs to help sandbag and brought food out,” Schelske said.
He and others were assessing damage Wednesday and planned to today, also.
“We are going to be working pretty hard to open as soon as possible and as soon as it’s safe and the facilities are functioning,” Schelske said.
- Cross Ranch State Park closed its campground, trails and canceled the Missouri River Bluegrass Festival and Kids’ Fest, June 17-18, due to Missouri River flooding.
The park and its visitor center remain open as does the Sanger Campground, though the boat ramp is unusable, according to a press release.
Those with reservations are eligible for a full refund if canceled a minimum of one day in advance of planned arrival.
Contact CRSP for conditions or to cancel reservations by calling 701-794-3731 or email email@example.com.
- Fort Abraham Lincoln State Park campground, south of Mandan, is closed indefinitely. The park and its interpretive facilities remain open. For information, call 701-667-6340 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Grahams Island State Park, west of Devils Lake, was closed Tuesday due to 50 mph winds but is now open, Weixel said.
Visitors are asked to check road and weather conditions before visiting.