Cleanup and repair work is continuing at Cathedral Gorge State Park following the flash flooding through the campground July 19.
Torrential rains in the mountains that evening sent floodwaters raging through the campground, stranding campers in five campsites.
Cody Tingey, Nevada State Parks Eastern Region Manager, said, “We have had NDF (Pioche Honor Camp) and County Road Department in helping us. We’ve had some help from the Nevada Department of Transportation and our own parks employees, last week and this week, doing cleanup. They are making great progress much faster than I would have imagined, but there is still a lot of work ahead.”
The Panaca Volunteer Fire Department had to use its high clearance brush vehicles to be able to cross the floodwaters to check on the campers, all of whom were safe.
“They were all happy we could get to them,” Tingey said.
Cleanup operations have utilized backhoes, small tractors, loaders, and a lot of handwork, with up to 48 of the inmate crews from the Honor Camp, he said.
The floodwaters missed the group-use area, Tingey said, and were “concentrated most on the main campground area. It took out trees, buried some of our power pedestals, filled in all of our irrigation, pushed mud, water and debris into the restroom facilities. It washed out the upper dike that was supposed to hold back floodwaters, but this was beyond that. The dike could not handle that amount. We’re working to repair all that.”
He said the road going out of the park to the main highway sustained some damage, “mostly to the shoulder areas and we’ll have to build those shoulders back up.”
Thus, at present, Cathedral Gorge State Park camping area is closed until further notice though the day-use areas are still open and functioning as normal.
Tingey expects they will be able to also hold the popular Dutch Oven Cook-off in the group-use area in September.
He gave many thanks “to all who are giving us a hand for the cleanup work. We couldn’t do it without them.”