Wet Winter, Recent Storms Close Some Lodi Parks for Memorial Day Weekend

LODI -- San Joaquin Parks officials expect a busy Memorial Day Weekend at its key parks like Micke Grove and Oak Grove, but it has also closed several parks along the Mokelumne River that is still swollen with snow and rain runoff.

The trail in the Woodbridge Wilderness Area in Lodi is closed as is the Stillman MaGee Park about 15 miles upstream on the Mokelumne River.

"Now with the May storms, the waters are very fast," San Joaquin County Parks Administrator Judy McCurry said.

At Stillman MaGee Park the water is running at 2,400 cubic feet per second, four times its normal flow this time of year. It’s been closed since February. The water now covers riverside vegetation and trees and other debris that has fallen into the river during the winter are hazards for anyone swept into the current.

While the park provides flotation vests for visitors, park caretaker David Pigorsch says the water would be a hazard, especially for kids.

"You turn around and they’re floating down the river and you don’t know how you’re going to get them back," said Pigorsch.

The swift water concerns pertain to any large tributary whether it’s in a park or not.

McCurry said luckily the county has nine regional parks so those who want to enjoy what promises to be unusually mild weather for a Memorial Day weekend have many alternatives.

A list of parks and the updated conditions, as well as park hours and user fees, can be found on the San Joaquin County Parks and Rec website.

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