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Storm Forces Washington Monument State Park Closure
Wind and Rain Cause Heavy Damage
BOONSBORO, Md. — Washington Monument State Park is closed until further notice after a series of heavy thunderstorms swept through the region Wednesday.
“The storm caused extensive damage,” Park Manager Dan Spedden said Thursday.
There were no injuries to visitors or park personnel, but fierce winds and driving rain knocked out phone, electricity, and water service. Fallen trees and branches blocked the main road and the hiking trail to the monument in several places and the museum and water treatment buildings were severely damaged. The park’s youth camp ground was vacant when the storm struck on Wednesday.
The 147-acre park just east of Boonsboro is named for the stone tower erected by the town in 1827, believed to be the country’s first completed monument to President George Washington, who explored the Upper Potomac and the Western Maryland mountains as a young surveyor. The rustic locale features youth group campsites, picnic shelters and playing fields. It’s a favorite of bird watchers because it lies within a migratory bird flyway.
Spedden said camping reservations for the weekend have been cancelled and the park will remain closed while staff assesses the damage.
June 5, 2008
Contact: Wiley Hall
410-260-8002 office I 410-507-7526 cell
Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is the state agency responsible for providing natural and living resource-related services to citizens and visitors. DNR manages more than 449,000 acres of public lands and 17,000 miles of waterways, along with Maryland's forests, fisheries and wildlife for maximum environmental, economic and quality of life benefits. A national leader in land conservation, DNR-managed parks and natural, historic and cultural resources attract 12 million visitors annually. DNR is the lead agency in Maryland's effort to restore the Chesapeake Bay, the state's number one environmental priority. Learn more at www.dnr.maryland.gov