Campers Weather Storm in Bathhouse


More Images of WV State Park Damages 

State Parks Director Ken Caplinger says considering the size of the June 29 derecho which hit West Virginia, the park system faired far better than expected.  

"Virtually the entire park system was affected," said Caplinger. "We had power out, trees down.  The only two areas that seemed to escape were Tomlinson Run and even Coopers Rock when I fully expected to get hammered. "

Caplinger calls it an "historical watershed" in the park system.

"I can’t remember whether an event that affected the totality of the system the way this did," he said.

Caplinger says the most damage was windblown trees where limbs broke or the entire tree was uprooted.   The parks facilities were largely spared other than some minor damage when trees and limbs landed on them. 

At Greenbrier State Forest campers were herded into a bathhouse made of concrete blocks by camp hosts Jim and Kim Fox.  Caplinger says Fox went to each campsite to grab people and get them out of harms way as giant white pine trees were crashing all around him.

"He really risked his own safety to assure the safety of park guests," said Caplinger. "Then his wife got up the next morning and fixed everybody breakfast."

Caplinger says nobody was hurt or even severely injured.  He says that defies all logic when you see the severity of the storm.

"Thank God we had no major injuries, we were very lucky," he said. "Other than a few passing blows, somehow we largely escaped structural damage."


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