HOUGHTON COUNTY — Power has been restored to all but one of six Michigan state parks in the Upper Peninsula that had been without electric service since Thursday morning.
A complex of thunderstorms rumbled through the Upper Peninsula early Thursday from Minnesota, toppling trees, downing electric lines and knocking out service for utility customers over a wide area.
“An electric line down near Silver City in Ontonagon County still has Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park without power this evening,” said John Pepin, deputy public information officer for the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. “We’re hoping electric service will be back on there soon.” Loggers from J.M. Longyear LLC work to clear hazards at the Emily Lake State Forest Campground in Houghton County.
Power had been fully restored at F.J. McLain State Park and Twin Lakes State Park in Houghton County, Baraga State Park in Baraga County, Fort Wilkins State Park in Keweenaw County and Lake Gogebic State Park in Gogebic County.
Two recent weather events have several areas still closed at the Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park because of flooding and storm damage.
Those park features include the Speaker’s Cabin, Big Carp 6, Big Carp 4 and Lake Superior backcountry cabins, all backcountry campsites between the mouths of the Big and Little Carp rivers and backcountry campsite No. 36 at Presque Isle.
“Park visitors are also being asked to avoid the Lake Superior Trail, between the mouths of the Big and Little Carp rivers,” Pepin said.
Storm damage and cost assessments are continuing to be calculated at the park.
Meanwhile, workers from J.M. Longyear LLC of Marquette were expected to continue work through the weekend at the Emily Lake State Forest Campground, which is located a few miles south of Twin Lakes State Park in Houghton County.
“The campground will remain closed until safety hazards can be removed and the campsites readied for visitors,” Pepin said.
Thunderstorms struck the campground shortly before 7 a.m. Thursday, knocking trees down on top of vehicles and two travel campers, which were occupied at the time. No injuries were reported.
Of the rustic campground’s 13 campsites, 4 were being used when the storm struck.
Trees were also downed at the Pike Lake boating access site, south of Emily Lake.
“The access site is not closed, but we are asking visitors to use caution in this area,” Pepin said.
For more information about state park camping reservations, call 1-800-447-2757 or 1-800-44PARKS.
(Information/Photo Courtesy of the Michigan DNR)