ROCKINGHAM — The Hitchcock Creek Greenway on Steele Street is closed until further notice because of damage from Hurricane Florence.
The city of Rockingham made the announcement via a Facebook post on Wednesday.
The walking trail is washed out in places, the picnic and playground areas need to be cleaned, wood chips need to be replaced and there are several trees down around the park and in the creek, according to City Manager Monty Crump.
“I would not recommend using the creek until city has had the chance to remove trees,” he said in an email Thursday. “The damage is slightly worse than (it was from Hurricane) Matthew.”
The area has been closed since the creek spilled over its banks following heavy rains from the tropical system, leaving much of the area under water for several days.
Crump said there is no timeline for the park to reopen.
“It could take weeks depending on how fast we can get streets clean and other more critical repairs (damaged streets, water lines, other infrastructure) accomplished,” he said. “Not saying recreation facilities are not important, it’s just that other issues … are priorities in the scheme of things.”
Although the Steele Street access point is closed, Crump pointed out that Hinson Lake is “fully open as the trails have been cleared” to host the annual 24-hour Ultra Classic cross country foot race this weekend.
The event begins at 8 a.m. Saturday and ends at 8 a.m. Sunday, with runners making as many laps as they can around the 1.5032-mile inner loop around the lake within the 24-hour period.