Cleanup continues at storm damaged campgrounds

Cleanup continues at storm damaged campgrounds

HOUGHTON — The Michigan Department of Natural Resources said the Emily Lake State Forest Campground in Houghton County will remain closed for the next few weeks as clean-up from a devastating complex of July thunderstorms continues.

“The campground will remain closed until site work is done, and some sites will remain closed until next spring,” said Rich Pirhonen, DNR ranger at Twin Lakes State Park. “We hope to have some sites reopened in the next few weeks. The boat launch will remain closed as we will be using that area for gravel storage for restoration of sites and roads.”

Storms hit the region during the early morning hours of July 21.

The National Weather Service office in Negaunee Township confirmed pockets of significant tree damage from Ontonagon east toward Baraga.

Straight line winds clocked at 90 mph were recorded at the Emily Lake State Forest Campground, situated south of Twin Lakes State Park in Houghton County.

Strong winds toppled trees onto power lines, knocking out utility service for more than 20,000 customers, including several state parks in the U.P.

At the Emily Lake State Forest Campground, numerous trees were felled by the wind. Falling trees cut through the shells of two travel campers at the park. Campers escaped without injury.

The campground has since been closed as loggers have worked to remove safety hazards. Along with the campground, loggers were also cleaning up about 15 acres around the boating access site area and along Pike Lake Road.

Pirhonen said the removal of large limbs and debris has begun at some of the 13 rustic campsites at Emily Lake. Some of the sites have been cleaned up, except for the removal of the stumps. Stump removal is expected to begin Monday.

“We’re hoping to have three of the sites reopened within the next week or so,” Pirhonen said.

For campers with questions on reservations at any of the U.P. parks, contact the DNR’s parks call center at 1-800-447-2757 or 1-800-44PARKS.

(Information Courtesy of the Michigan Department of Natural Resources)