A state recreation area in western Iowa, closed since the Missouri River flooding of 2011, has suffered another setback at the hands of Mother Nature. Wilson Island Park Ranger Chris Anunson says the severe storm that rumbled through the area Tuesday caused a lot of damage.
“We were anticipating to open in the middle of this month and we were pretty much on course, but with this damage, that’s going to be moved back at least two weeks and maybe a little bit (longer) than that,” Anunson said.
Wilson Island, which covers 544 acres in northwest Pottawattamie County, was hammered with 4 inches of rain, baseball sized hail and 80-to-90 mile an hour winds. “We have a lot of tree damage,” Anunson said. “Approximately 30 large cottonwood trees have been uprooted.”
Many of those trees are blocking roads, so staff aren’t able to access all areas of the park to completely assess the damage. The hail wrecked a recently constructed park office. According to Anunson, the new office had 11 windows broken and extensive damage to its siding and metal roof. “Just about every building we have in the park received some amount of damage,” Anunson said.
When the park facilities and campground are reopened, Anunson expects repairs from the storm will still be going on.