Storm closes Turtle Flambeau Flowage camping, public accesses for fishing to open Jul

Discussion in 'Frontpage News' started by Wisconsin DNR News, Jul 28, 2010.

  1. DNR Northern Region - Mercer, WI.-- While damage assessment continues from last night's storm on the Turtle Flambeau Flowage northeast of Park Falls, Department of Natural Resources officials will reopen boat ...

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    Mercer, WI.-- While damage assessment continues from last night’s storm on the Turtle Flambeau Flowage northeast of Park Falls, Department of Natural Resources officials will reopen boat accesses. All camping in the flowage, however, remains closed until further notice.

    “Our crews are going from campsite to campsite to do an assessment of the damage,” said DNR Lands Supervisor Paul Bruggink. “About 50 per cent of the 70 campsites received damage which varies from site to site.”

    Tuesday night at about 8 p.m. a major wind event hit the flowage. At this time state officials are not sure if it was a straight line wind event or a tornado. Iron County Emergency Management, the Iron County Sheriff’s Department, and DNR employees worked through the night assisting and rescuing people camping on the islands. Several injuries were reported.

    Damaged areas extend from the Turtle Dam, on the west side of the flowage, to ½ mile east of Murrays Landing on the east side. The area is about 8 miles long and one to one ½ miles wide. Within this area trees are down, campsites extensively damaged and some roads are impassable. There are also reports of several watercraft damaged from the storm.

    As part of the response, the Office of Emergency Management, Iron County Sherriff’s Department, and DNR mobilized search operations into three divisions with four boats per division. The priorities for these crews are:

    1. Search, rescue and evacuation.

    2. Safely deliver campers back into their respective sites to retrieve personal items and watercraft.

    3. Clean up the sites, i.e. evaluate hazards, cut trees.

    4. Repair damage to campsites. Some picnic tables and toilets were completely demolished.

    5. Reopen sites as conditions warrant.

    Iron County officials, in conjunction with the Towns of Mercer and Sherman, are conducting damage assessments to residences and public infrastructure in the affected area.