A powerful windstorm that hit the upper St. Croix River area on July 1 caused significant damage to St. Croix State Park. Because the storm hit the first day of the Minnesota state government shutdown, the extent of that damage is just now becoming apparent. An earlier St. Croix 360 post showed video of some of the swaths of trees knocked down and buildings damaged, and quoted a Star Tribune story about the damage.
The Minnesota state government resumed operations Thursday, re-opening most of the state parks, but not St. Croix. The DNR announced the park will be closed indefinitely while clean-up and repairs are conducted. The DNR also shared a set of photos of clean-up operations at the park on its Parks and Trails Facebook page.
The access road to the campground appears blocked by dozens of large trees, mostly red pine, and several of the buildings have trees down on them, with damage apparent on roofs and walls.
Click the photos to see larger images.
The photos are of the St. John’s Landing Group Camp facilities, at the upstream extremity of the park (view PDF map of park). Many of the buildings at the group camp site were constructed during the 1930s by the Civilian Conservation Corps. The many CCC buildings in the park earned it a spot on the National Register of Historic Places in 1989 (PDF).
Deb Sewell says
I talked with the conservation officer who was in the park at the time the storm hit. He said the story the media has not told is what an absolute miracle it was that due to the shutdown, no one was at the campground. If it had been a normal Friday night, hundreds of people would have been there and there would likely have been many injuries and deaths, and no way for emergency vehicles to access the area.
Pops Ritchie says
Visited the State Park last week-end for a couple days of camping and mountain biking with my sons. Three months after the storm, much of the park remains a disaster area. About 60% of the main campground is open but riding through the area not cleared makes it clear at least one good thing came out of the State shutdown because no one died during the storm. It may be next summer before all the trails are open.