0916 Morganton parks closing

Bethel Park, one of 11 parks in Morganton, suffers flooding from heavy rainfall in early 2016.

While the effects of Hurricane Florence are being felt in the area, the city of Morganton’s parks and its Greenway will be closed.

The city announced on its Facebook page on Friday that all city parks and the Morganton Greenway System will close at noon Saturday. The parks and recreation department said when those facilities reopen will depend on the weather and how much damage is sustained from the storm.

The city has 11 parks, including Asian Garden at 700 N. King St., Bethel Park at 600 Bethel Road, Carbon City Park at 800 Carbon City Road, Catawba Meadows Park at 701 Sanford Drive, Catawba River Soccer Complex at 110 Greenlee Ford Road, Drexel Heritage Park at 600 W. Concord St., Freedom Park at 400 Independence Blvd., Gene Turner Park at 800 N. King St., Martha’s Park at 200 Collett St., Martin Luther King Jr. Park at 111 Alphabet Lane and Shuey Park at 101 Golf Course Road.

The Greenway has 4.4 miles of paved accessible trail with access points at Greenlee Ford, Freedom Park, River Village, Catawba Meadows Park and Rocky Ford.

While the parks and Greenway are closed, the city’s recreation centers and outdoor pool will remain open, though the pool will be closed Sunday.

The Collett Street Recreation Center at 300 Collett St. and Mountain View Recreation Center are open from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily Monday through Saturday. Both are closed on Sundays. The Collett Street Pool is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays. It will close Sunday.

Morganton’s announcement came after other governments in the county said their facilities would close due to weather, as detailed in an article in Friday’s edition of The News Herald.

Valdese will close all of its parks and recreation centers by Saturday morning, said Town Manager Seth Eckard. Those facilities include the town splash park and Tiger Gym. The facilities are scheduled to reopen on Tuesday morning.

Treg McGee, director of parks and recreation for Burke County, said all county parks would close at 5 p.m. Friday. Weather permitting, the parks will reopen at 8 a.m. on Monday.

The town of Hildebran was expected to lock up its park gate on Friday afternoon, said Town Manager Tom Drum. The town of Drexel’s recreation facilities and park are expected to remain open, according to town officials.

Justin Epley can be reached at jepley@morganton.com or 828-432-8943.

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