This email was forwarded at 8:30 am from State Friends VP Jim Richardson. You will find a statement from the park on the Official Park website. Click on “details+”.
*From: *”Dowdy, Bryan”
*Subject: **Morrow Mountain State Park Closure – Storm Damage*
*Date: *June 13, 2013 9:38:59 PM EDT
A line of severe thunderstorms and damaging winds that came through the Morrow Mountain State Park area in Albemarle, NC and the surrounding county Thursday evening, June 13th resulted in the loss of power and other utilities in the area and has caused major damage to Morrow Mountain State Park.
I spoke briefly with Superintendent Schneider on a spotty cell phone call tonight and he informed that hundreds of trees are down in the park, across all roads, parking areas, trails, campground loops and in the cabin areas. Some facilities have been damaged but due to the severity of the down trees and storm debris, it will take awhile to assess everything. Superintendent Schneider said he was told that a large tree had hit the park office and at least one cabin may have been crushed. He was unsure about the internal park ranger residences as they were unable to get to them at that time and we concentrating on getting to the park visitors first. Power, cell phones, internal park radio communications and even the state VIPER radio network were not working at the park.
When I talked with him around 8:00pm, with help from local fire departments (*a crew from Forestry was also on the way)* they were still trying to cut their way up to the overlook parking lot at the top the mountain and to the Kron House area to account for any park visitors up there. He says he was told there may be several cars up there at both places. The campground also took a major hit and it was my impression that several vehicles and campers were crushed. At that time, we did not have any known injuries or unaccounted park visitors.
This event may be large enough ( including other damages in the county) to classify for state or federal funds and if it’s as bad as Greg implied and like other ice storms, etc. we have had in the past, it will require contracting at least some of the tree work/debris clean up out to commercial companies. However, I am sure we will need to pull together some State Park Crews to go to MOMO to assist them over the weekend/next week.
The park will be closed until further notice and until a better assessment of damage can be made. Active Network, the Central Reservation System has been notified to contact all campers/park users for any reservations up to Monday, June 24th.
I will pass along additional information when I have it.
Parks Chief Ranger