Unusually high water and day after day of relentless summer winds took a toll on the shorline of Kandiyohi County Parks 1 and 2.
Located on Big Kandiyohi Lake in the southern part of the county, sa-ndy beaches, grassy slopes and rip-rap along the shore have been wash-ed away. A long stretch of shoreline on Park 1 was damaged, leaving a deep wash-out in one area and a dock and gnarled tree root tangled together in another.
So much soil was washed away in Park 2 that the asphalt parking lot began chipping away and a retaining wall near the park store bowed out. The damages have become visible in recent weeks as water levels have subsided.
The Kandiyohi County Commissioners walked the shorelines Monday to assess the damage.
They were touring county road and public works projects.
The repairs will cost thousands of dollars.
Repairs have already begun at Park 2. The retaining wall was removed, the rugged edge of the asphalt trimmed and a fabric liner has been laid. Crews were working with heavy equipment Monday morning to remove more asphalt and prepare the shore for rocks to be hauled in.
That project is expected to cost $14,000. Money will come from the park fund as well as a $3,000 water planning grant.
Because of the large amount of lakeshore footage, repairs at Park 1 will cost much more than those at County Park 2, said County Administrator Larry Kleindl.
Anywhere from four to 12 feet of shore land was nibbled away up and down the shore at Park 1. A fire ring that had been near a picnic area is now on the edge of the shore.
"Every bit of that was all grass last year," said Commissioner Harlan Madsen, who represents that part of the county. "Unbelievable."
The wind and high water "took a lot of mud into the lake," said Commissioner Dennis Peterson.
"Boy, this is a mess," said County Board Chairman Dean Shuck, as he glanced up and down the shore.
The county is planning to purchase rock from a nearby farmer for $20 a ton, which will help reduce repair costs, said Kleindl, but the repairs will not be cheap. Because it was an act of Mother Nature, insurance won't help cover the costs.
Most of the repairs are expected to be completed yet this fall.