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State parks, trails in Door County still closed due to storm damage


DOOR COUNTY, WI (WTAQ) - Wisconsin state parks and state trails in Door County remain closed Monday as massive clean up operations continue.

Peninsula, Potawatomi, Newport, Whitefish Dunes and Rock Island state parks and the Ahnapee State Trail were impacted by a strong storm last week that toppled trees across roads, onto buildings and vehicles and pulled down powerlines throughout the Door County peninsula.

No injuries were reported from state managed properties.

Department of Natural Resources crews from around the state have been working to clear trees, repair shower buildings and other structures. Utility crews are working to restore power.

DNR hopes to be able to reopen facilities before the weekend but uncertainties about power and integrity of water, restrooms and shower facilities remain.

Reopening announcements will be issued to news media and on the DNR website.

Campers with reservations are being contacted through the online reservation system and by phone, if necessary, with status updates.

“Crews made significant progress over the weekend clearing main roads and assessing campgrounds for hazards,” said Dan Schuller, DNR’s state park director. “However power lines are still down and we have to assess and see what we can do to get campground shower and toilet facilities functional. These facilities were damaged by falling trees and without power, park sewage treatment facilities are not operating.”

Over the weekend the popular Peninsula Golf Course was able to reopen and power was restored into headquarters and shop buildings in affected parks.

“While there still is work to be done, I want to thank our visitors for their patience and understanding. Staff and equipment from other DNR programs and other state parks have been deployed to Door County. Our friends groups and local campground hosts have pitched in when asked and the cooperative effort to reopen these properties has been inspiring,” said Schuller.

“We know this is a very popular time of year for visiting Door County and that state parks are a large part of that experience. Visitor safety is our number one priority and we want to be certain all reasonable precautions have been taken to assure we can offer a safe and enjoyable park experience.”

Park officials remind citizens that these properties remain closed to entry by any means until clean up and inspections can be completed in the interest of visitor safety and efficiency of work crews.