Crews Still Clearing Damage from Spring Ice and Snow Storm in da’ UP
Sounds like they're still cleaning up after a late-winter ice and snow storm took down hundreds of trees in Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park in Michigan's Upper Peninsula April 26-27, 2017. Higher elevations reportedly got up to an inch of ice, then 2-4" of snow. Apparently, a LOT of trees got weighed down with the ice and snow and fell over.
Here's more from a Michigan Department of Natural Resources press release:
With 40-50 miles of the park’s roughly 90 miles of hiking trails assessed so far, 17 miles of trails have been reported in “extraordinarily” bad condition or impassible. The park also has about 26 miles of ski/mountain bike trails to be assessed.
'The natural resource impact has been huge as there are hundreds, if not thousands, of trees downed in the park,” said Eric Cadeau, a DNR regional field planner, from the Baraga office. “Additional assessment is needed to confirm the extent of the impact.'
In some places, as many as 100 trees per mile were reported downed along trails, with 25-33 percent of trail markers damaged or destroyed.
'We have looked at some of the lower elevation trails and not found any damage, so we are first focusing on the higher elevation hiking trails,' said Bob Wild, a DNR interpreter at the park. 'Then we'll move to the lower elevation hiking trails and finally, our ski/mountain bike trails.'
Wild guessed 35-50 miles of hiking trails will likely be impacted by storm damage, but this is a rough estimate as there are trees down that fell over the winter. Crews were continuing to assess trail impacts today, with the investigation expected to be completed by the middle of next week.
Cadeau said no significant damage occurred to park bridges and boardwalks. The damage to that type of infrastructure that did occur was characterized as minor to moderate.
All pending rental cabins and yurts have been assessed with no significant damage reported. No staff or public injuries have occurred.
'These heavily-impacted areas are dangerous and it is very difficult to remain on the trail,' said Jeff Gaertner, park supervisor. 'Please use alternate routes and avoid these areas.'
Last summer, Porcupine Mountains Wilderness Park was struck by two consecutive storms — the first in the west, the second in the east — that felled numerous trees onto trails.
The heavy rain from the first storm flooded creeks and streams, which undermined riverbanks and dropped more trees. One cabin had to be relocated while several campsites and cabins were temporarily closed.
For the latest information on Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park visit www.michigan.gov/porkies.
They've called in the lumberjacks to start buzzing away at the mess.