Wood chippers are working over time in Gulf State Park clearing hundreds of trees that were no match for winds raging at 70 to 80 miles an hour.
“The people in the cabins were terrified,” says park superintendent Lisa Laraway.
Rod Kitchen and his wife had just arrived from Canada and rode out the storm in their truck. “We sat there and got progressively pelted so we moved closer to the building hoping it wouldn’t fall on us and finally the rear window caved in.”
Those same winds ripped off the roof of one cabin and sent a tree crashing through another. “We’ve been underneath it and it has apparently been lifted and shifted,” says Laraway. “Just two of these seem to be the most significant.”
Slowly but surely, progress is being made. All the trails are open. All the roads are open in the state park but there is still a lot of cleanup to be done.
Especially at the golf course with a few more hazards out there than you may remember. Fairways are covered with trees that were snapped in two or uprooted. “What the golf course team has decided to do is move everything off of the course,” says Laraway. “Mainly off of the greens and tees so that we can get it off of the fairways and off to the side and cleared off the cart paths.”
Folks could be teeing off again by next week. While the damaged cabins will be out of commission for several months.
Crews from other state parks, Oak Mountain, Windcreek and Lakepoint, have come in to help with the clean up. Anyone wanting to help clear debris or if you need firewood, call the state park office.