Wind storm causes massive damage to Moran State Park

High winds and freezing temperatures have left Moran State Park in a state of utter disarray with fallen trees and branches dotting the landscape.

A building was crushed beyond repair and there is extensive damage to roads, waterlines, roofs and vehicles after a storm with 90-MPH winds hit the islands Feb. 3-4.

“It was a really intense event,” said Park Manager Chris Guidotti. “We had staff here overnight trying to keep the roads clear and trees were crashing all around them – so kudos to them.”

Parks employees also helped to remove branches and trees as OPALCO crews worked through the night to restore power.

A duplex building near the Environmental Learning Center was cut in half by a falling tree. It had 28 beds and two restrooms and was used by groups in the ELC space. There was an event there over the weekend but guests had checked out the day before.

“We are really grateful there wasn’t anyone there at the time,” Guidotti said.

He says they haven’t put a dollar figure on the destruction but it’s going to be significant. A state parks forester is currently assessing damage and arbors crews from the mainland will be handling the more technical tree removal. The clean-up and repair work is expected to be completed by April, when the parks’ campgrounds begin to open.

“We have a lot of volunteers and they are clearing trails. I am grateful for this community,” he said. “We go up three feet in elevation from Cascade Lake, and it’s fine – it’s all concentrated down here. I called it the arch to arch event.”