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      Ottumwa Parks Department continues clean up after weekend storm

      The Ottumwa Parks Department continues clean up after Sunday's severe storm.

      Parks and cemetery employees are now going around to various parks and public properties. Parks Director Gene Rathje said the cemetery lost three trees. Clean up crews are using chainsaws to cut the trees into smaller pieces, and a wood chipper is being used to turn the trees into mulch. The recycled material is used for mulching other trees in the community. Rathje says Union Park and Greater Ottumwa Park also lost several trees as well.

      "Unfortunately the grounds are pretty wet and it's hard to get equipment off the roads and onto the soft turf. we don't want to leave ruts or have equipment get stuck, so we're doing the best we can to clear the trails off in Ottumwa Park and chip up what we can get to without going off the trails and off the roads into the mud," he said.

      He expects clean up to be complete in the next ten days.A mulch pile behind the Public Works building is free and available to people in the community. Residents will have to bring something to transport the mulch in however.