Early Oct. Blizzard Impacts S.D. Campground
Surrounded by broken pines, Jim Larson’s camper serves a lonely beacon at the entrance to South Dakota’s Woodsey Campground at Sheridan Lake.
“I was set for a record-breaking season,” mused Larson, a U.S. Forest Service campground host who winters at Sheridan Lake where he greets hunters and fishermen.
According to a report by the Rapids City Journal, last month’s blizzard almost ended the winter camping season before it started. Woodsey campground is the only spot open around Sheridan Lake.
Other camping areas at Sheridan Lake will need considerable attention this winter, especially along the south boat ramp that “looks like a war zone,” Larson said last week.
Forest Service crews have done some preliminary work in the campgrounds, felling trees and sawing downed trees into manageable pieces.
But there’s still a lot of work left to be done.
“From what we have seen, there are some areas that have been heavily damaged by the blizzard’s wet snow and high wind, specifically downed trees and branches. The damage varied across the forest. Broken tree tops, leaning trees and other associated hazards from the storm may still pose a safety hazard or risk to our employees and visitors,” Mystic District Ranger Ruth Esperance said in a news release.
Primary forest roads are considered generally passable. It’s a different story on the less traveled roads, according to Public Affairs Officer Scott Jacobson.
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