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Strong Winds Leave A Trail Of Downed Trees At Aroostook State Park

| July 8, 2014

StormDamagesArstkStPark from WAGM-TV on Vimeo.

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The storm over the weekend did some damage across the state and in the county. The strong winds it produced actually posed a threat to the campers at the Aroostook State Park campground. That’s where some campers were for the holiday weekend, and ended up getting stuck in the park for hours due to blocked roads, as they tried to get out.

Leon Butler, a park visitor from Belgrade says, “I wasn’t too worried but a little scary because some of these trees are really big and I saw some really big trees fall down, not only one tree fall down, but it would take out another one.”

That’s what campers experienced at Aroostook State Park over the weekend. Hurricane Arthur was downgraded to a tropical storm as it moved north and through Aroostook county. The height of it at the park was Saturday afternoon when strong winds took down trees.

Park Manager Scott Thompson says, “The wind decided to pick up in intensity and from what I can see it was a blow that I’ve never seen all my life and watching trees dance in wind was just a total total concern for our campers.”

At camp site number six, this tree came crashing down about 20 minutes after the campers decided to wrap up and leave. This Wiscasset couple visiting the area, also had a close call at their campsite.

Mary Lou Leighton, a park visitor from Wiscasset says, “It came close it was a limb that came down, but it just missed our tent.”

And just missed them, as the couple had just left the park.

Gardern Leighton of Wiscasset, “We were here that morning, Friday morning, it was raining so we said we’d take a ride so we went all the way up to Allagash and came back and you can see the storm and we stopped at some place in Allagash and had some lunch and somebody said they got hit really hard over here.”

The head of the south peak trail is open, but just to describe how strong the winds were, there were trees that were knocked over completely blocking it.

Thompson. “Within a 15 minute time frame we saw close to 20 trees come down and at that point we realized we needed to get people out of the campground and into a safe area like into our kitchen shelter that we offer.”

Thompson says there are close to 130 to 150 trees that come down throughout the park, some across hiking trails, and some still leaning into other trees. Campers who tried to leave the park had to wait near the entrance for about 6 hours because of some trees blocking that road. Clean up efforts are continuing. The immediate hazards have been cleared.

Thompson, “St this point the trails aren’t officially closed but hiker should be aware that they’re gonna come across blow down trees and might want to skirt around them. ”

Thompson says no one was injured. Only one tent had a tree fall onto it but the campers had already left.   22 of the 30 camp sites were occupied and approximately 80 people were on the campgrounds during the storm.

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