MISSOURI VALLEY - Tuesday’s storm has pushed the reopening of Wilson Island State Recreation Area back to mid-summer to allow the Iowa Department of Natural Resources to clean up downed trees and assess the damage to its new buildings.
The storm battered Wilson Island, in northwest Pottawattamie County, with four inches of rain, baseball sized hail and 80-90 mile per hour winds.
The new park office had 11 windows broken, and extensive damage to its siding and metal roof. Park staff is busy clearing 30 mature cottonwood trees uprooted by the storm and other debris from the roadways while continuing to with the final projects to reopen the campground that has been closed since 2011.
“I anticipate that the repairs from this storm will still be going on when we reopen,” said Chris Anunson, park ranger at Wilson Island.
The park did not experience any flooding form the Missouri River and does not expect any.
At Waubonsie State Park, in Fremont County, the impact from the storm was much less.
“We were pretty lucky,” said Kevin Thorne, park manager at Waubonsie.
Thorne said they did a preliminary assessment and found little damage to the modern campground and the equestrian campground. He said the road in the modern campground is partially closed due to a washout that will be inspected and filled by the Iowa DOT, possibly as early as Thursday or Friday.
“The hiking trails are generally ok,” he said. “I’m more concerned about the equestrian trails.”
He will inspect the park’s extensive trail system after it dries out.
The equestrian trails are currently closed due to heavy rainfall and wet conditions. The notice has been placed on the Waubonsie State Park reservation page at http://iowastateparks.reserveamerica.com/