Wythogan Park Suffers Extreme Damage From Storms

The 70 mph winds bent this tree in half and uprooted others.

Wythogan Park sustained an extreme amount of damage during Tuesday morning’s storms. Park Board President Kurt Snearly talks about the destruction.

“We had six utility poles that had to be replaced and NIPSCO did a fantastic job,” explained Snearly. “They worked extremely hard for four straight days to get that cleaned up. There was fencing damage to the tennis court and our brand new $12,000 slide was damaged. The playground equipment like the spring toys, the curly slide, the climbing equipment and swings were all damaged. The shelters and fields did make it…somehow. The amount of trees that are down in the park right now is staggering.”

The three-man park crew have been cleaning up the smaller debris, but it’s going to take much more to clean-up the park.

“We obviously have debris that will be an easier task to get cleaned up that our crew can handle, but the clean-up efforts that I visualized yesterday are way beyond our scope – not only physically, but financially. There are so many trees down, I think there may be more trees that are damaged laying on the ground than there are standing up.”

Due to the massive amount of damage and the instability of some large branches and tree limbs, Snearly says the park is closed.

“We do have the park closed for all activities. That includes shelter rentals and the walking trail. We do have it barricaded for a reason. There are so many trees entangled with one another that are so large and tops of trees hanging down that we just need everyone to stay out of the park for safety reasons.”

Snearly was asked what work is being done now in order to move forward with the clean-up.

“Electricity has been restored. We have insurance claims in process and we have contacted our insurance company to see just what they’re going to cover. We’re not sure at this point whether they’re going to cover the trees at all and the clean-up, which I think is going to be an amount that people are just not prepared to hear yet. I think it’s going to be a large amount of money. Clean-up is going to take quite some time.”

Kurt Snearly will report on the progress next week. Below is a slideshow with 80 pictures of the extensive damage at Wythogan Park; please be patient as the images load.  Photos by Anita Goodan.

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