HICKORY, NC (WBTV) - Shirley McKee remembers how bad the storm was last October when a tornado bounced through the eastern side of Hickory.
"I drove right through it trying to get to a friend's house for safety," she recalled.
Trees were down and roads were blocked. Most of that was cleaned up and repaired within days, but several city parks had too much damage for any overnight fix.
In fact, six months later, there are still some trails closed at some parks, and the boardwalk over wetlands at Glenn Hilton Park remains closed as well. At this point, they've spent close to $80,000 - and they're not done yet.
"We've come a long way," says Parks and Recreation Director Mack McLeod.
Crews spent a lot of time making sure they could get all parks at least partially open by spring. They succeeded.
"It's been a juggling act," says McLeod.
They have had to stop debris cleanup in recent days to help get Winkler Park and L.P.Frans Stadium ready for the home opener for the Hickory Crawdads minor league baseball team.
Officials think by next week another push will begin to repair the boardwalk at Hilton Park and clear debris at others that are affected. The hope is to get all trails open by early summer.
"We will do it as quickly as we can do it safely," says McLeod.