We arrived at Itasca on July 4, just 2 days after a storm with winds topping 60 mph had hit. The damage was fearsome, and saddening. Many large, old trees were down, the majority snapped off 12-15 feet off the ground. Hearing that sound, combined with the crash of the tree hitting the ground, would have been terrifying.
Given the extent of the damage, it’s a miracle that no one was injured. Many campsites had trees across them, and others had some unbelievable near misses — like one where a massive white pine fell directly parallel to the campsite (see slideshow).
The photos below give some idea of the damage, but really can’t capture it. A couple of things to note in the photos:
- there were 3 people in the red pickup when a huge white pine fell across the corner of the cab, but none of them were injured — amazing when you notice that the tree’s diameter was about as big as a truck tire
- the tops of many spruce trees were bent from the wind; whether they’ll recover or not remains to be seen
- had we been in our campsite when the storm came through, 2 large spruce trees would have fallen awfully close to our trailer.
Hats off to the park crew and others who helped in the cleanup: they did an amazing job of clearing roads and getting the park functioning again very quickly.