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Storm damage has little effect at lake recreation areas

Posted: March 16, 2014 - 12:07am
Anna Jeancake, 8, fishes at Petersburg Campground on Lake Thurmond. The campgrounds and parks around the lake should open on time, despite debris from February's ice storm.  Photo by Jim Blaylock
Photo by Jim Blaylock
Anna Jeancake, 8, fishes at Petersburg Campground on Lake Thurmond. The campgrounds and parks around the lake should open on time, despite debris from February's ice storm.

Debris from February’s ice storm won’t delay the openings of campgrounds and other facilties at Clarks Hill Lake this spring, officials said.

Khrissy Alford, recreation chief ranger for U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, said debris cleanup after the storm wasn’t that bad at the Corps recreation areas.

“Actually compared to Augusta, the lake area damage was less damaging basically,” Alford said. “We did have trees down, we had power lines down but we got pretty much everything back into shape shortly after the ice storm and we have contractors working in the parks right now preparing them for opening on March 28 and they’re clearing any remaining tree debris as they go through those parks. So they’re all going to be ready to go for park opening.”

Alford said the cleanup process is going well and majority of the clean up was done the weekend after the ice storm and as of now, contractors are going from park to park cleaning up any remaining trees or limbs that were down behind the closed gates in the park.

“We’re looking forward to the recreations season and having a lot of visitors out here the campgrounds are in good shape and we have a pretty full lake so far, so we’re looking forward to visitors coming out for the recreation season,” Alford said.

Jason Allind, manager at International Disc Golf Center located in Columbia County’s Wildwood Park, said 90 percent of that park is cleaned up and the rest is being done now.

“We had some damage on all three of our courses but got crews out here the week after the ice storm and got things cleaned up and back to playable,” Allind said.

Allind said the aftermath from the ice storm didn’t look as bad as it did in Augusta.

“I live down in Augusta so it wasn’t as bad as what I’ve seen in town per se, but yes we did have quite a few large trees uproot and or break and fall and then we also had quite a few branches on each hole fall and yeah when the tops of the pine trees feel it kind of looked like a bomb had exploded when they hit the ground,” Allind said. “It was bad it spots but like I said not as bad as what I saw in town.”

Allind said each of the Disc Golf Center’s three courses had about the same amount of damage, but the lakefront course incurred the most. Allind said he was still very excited about the coming “busy” season.

“The campgrounds drive in a unique customer base and also our visitors have a place to stay,” Allind said. “A lot of our visitors use the campgrounds when they come in from out of town.”

Trevor Bullard, park manager for Mistletoe State Park, said Mistletoe State Park had a few down trees and down limbs too, but there was no serious damage.

“It wasn’t anything as bad as I’ve seen in other locations,” Bullard said.

Bullard said Mistletoe State Park is open year-round, so the preparation for the 2014 recreation season is just like any other preparation process.

“We’re just, you know, our normal, annual cleaning the park up, making sure all the grass is cut and roads are blown off and just general clean up of the area you know and get ready for the busy season to start back up,” Bullard said.

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