The storm that ripped through Hardin County Sunday has altered vacation plans for dozens of families. Large hail and strong winds damaged nearly every home and business in Eldora and has forced the closure of a popular state park just northeast of town.
Mick Klemesrud with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources says it may take a couple of weeks to repair all the damage done at Pine Lake State Park . "Basically, when that storm came through, it just stripped the trees of bark, leaves and limbs," Klemesrud said.
"It caused a lot of damage to the campgrounds and to the units themselves. People that were in there, they’re trying to get (their recreational vehicles) out." The hail knocked out windows on all four of Pine Lake’s rental cabins and also punctured the ceilings of the park’s lodge and the home of the park manager.
Klemesrud says golf ball to baseball sized hail pounded the area for nearly 15 minutes. The Pine Lake campground has 130 sites and most of them were occupied at the time the storm hit. "Anybody that had a vehicle on the campground had their windows knocked out," Klemesrud said. "There’s glass everywhere."
The D.N.R. is contacting individuals who had reservations for Pine Lake campsites, cabins and the lodge through August 21st. Klemesrud says it’ll be a monumental task to get the park back open before that time. Staff from Big Creek, Brushy Creek, George Wyth and Union Grove State Parks are helping with the Pine Lake clean up.