By Alecia Reid

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A major project meant to clean up the aftermath of Tropical Storm Ida is now getting delayed by Mother Nature. The area of Kelly Drive was meant to be on lockdown Wednesday, but now crews are waiting for the forecast to clear up.

The safety cable above the river’s dam became dislodged during the storm. According to Kathryn Ott Lovell, the commissioner of Philadelphia’s Parks and Recreation Department, it’s a critical device.

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“It’s sort of a last line of defense where a rower can grab before, God forbid, they go over the dam,” she told CBS3.

The cable is typically strung across the river, but now, it’s laying at the bottom of it. It’s just one of the many signs of damage across Fairmount Park.

“This is a big infrastructure project, and so we have to make sure people are safe. We have to get the equipment in that’s necessary to do this job,” Ott Lovell said.

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The project may require heavy equipment to dig the cable out, hence the closures – Kelly Drive, the river, and the trail. But now, it’s pushed back another day, leaving some disappointed but understanding.

Steve O’Mera of Parkwood said, “I guess I can miss a day. We need the safety cable so if somebody goes down, they have to be able to stop.”

Vienniah Thach of Fishtown is also understanding, telling Eyewitness News, “I mean it’s life, right? Things happen. You just gotta deal with it.”

The cable recovery project alone could cost hundreds of thousands of dollars if they need to replace the cable. Total cost of citywide damages? Nearly $20 million.

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Once contractors think it’s safe, they will lock down the area and get to work.