SCRANTON, LACKAWANNA COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) – Walkers and runners, Wednesday is the day many of you have been waiting for!
More than four months after tornado damage closed the walking trail around Lake Scranton, part of the popular recreation area is set to open.
Back in late February, a tornado that stretched from Luzerne into Lackawanna County ended in the area of Route 307 in Scranton.
The twister downed hundreds, if not thousands, of trees along the Lake Scranton walking trail and it has taken this long to get just a portion of the trail back open.
With the gates were locked, the closure frustrated runners like Michael Kelly of West Scranton.
“It’s a beautiful place to run. There’s no cars. You don’t have to worry about getting hit, it’s open, people are friendly up here,” Michael Kelly said.
On Wednesday morning, a portion of the 3.5-mile trail will finally reopen to the public.
Trees taken down by the tornado not only had to be removed from the walking path but taken down altogether.
With two-thirds of the trail expected to reopen Wednesday, safety is still on the mind of workers with Pennsylvania American Water.
“We’re asking people to make sure too that they stay on the path because going off the path there are some risks because of the downed trees, because of the stumps and roots left there,” Pennsylvania American Water spokeswoman Susan Turcmanovich said.
Pennsylvania American Water says it took a long time to get part of the trail open because workers first had to concentrate on their water treatment plants that were also damaged by the tornado.
As for the work along the walking trail itself, it is still ongoing.
“We’re anticipating there’s going to be a lot of natural re-vegetation in the area so we’ll keep an eye on that as we continue the work and if we have to plant more trees we’ll look at that in the future,” Turcmanovich said.
For many, the walking trail around Lake Scranton is a treasure.
Kathylee Johnson now lives in Florida but stopped by the area Tuesday to reminisce having spent so much time in the area when she was younger.
“There you can just breathe and it’s soothing and calming. It’s very nice,” Johnson said.
The walking trail will remain closed from the area where the path meets the roadway to the dam near the fishing pier. Company contractors are still working to clear trees in that area.
Two-thirds of the walking trail will officially reopen Wednesday morning at 7:00 AM.