Palo Duro Canyon closes trails due to flooding - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

Palo Duro Canyon closes trails due to flooding

Mud and rushing water cover roads limiting access (Source: KFDA) Mud and rushing water cover roads limiting access (Source: KFDA)
Trails management are taking precaution as little as a half inch more of rain could cause additional flooding (Source: KFDA) Trails management are taking precaution as little as a half inch more of rain could cause additional flooding (Source: KFDA)
Palo Duro Canyon State Park (Source: KFDA) Palo Duro Canyon State Park (Source: KFDA)
CANYON, TX (KFDA) -

The Palo Duro Canyon has seen about 4 inches of rain and park officials are taking precaution by closing sections of the park to keep visitors safe. 

With a yearly average of about 12 to 18 inches of rain the canyon is already sitting at around 11 inches due to recent rains. 

Rain, mud and rushing water have caused roads to be closed.

"This rain has saturated our soil here and it gets slick and muddy," said Mark Hassell, Trails and Resources Manager. "It's almost like walking on grease and if you walk out there on those trails it can turn into erosional zones."

To ensure visitor safety the park has limited access to only half of the park and all trails are currently closed to the public.

Water is drying up slightly and park officials are hoping the weather conditions will allow crews to go into the park to clear off the muddy roads and pathways.

"With our bridge system we have been able to keep most of the park open," said Hassell. "We had one area where the river jumped its bank and put a lot of mud on the roads."

Before the 4 inches of rain, the red river water levels were close to dry but are now flowing under access bridges. Trail management say they are taking precaution now because as little as a half inch more of rain could cause additional flooding.

There are plans to clear off roads as early as Sept.2 and are hoping to see an influx of visitors for the Labor Day weekend.

 With the burn ban lifted fires are now allowed in campgrounds and trails are expected to open between Sept. 2 through Sept. 5.

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