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Author Topic: Wapehani Tornado Damage  (Read 10395 times)

Kevin M

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Wapehani Tornado Damage
« on: May 27, 2011, 12:47:53 AM »
From today's Herald-Times:

Quote
The National Weather Service confirmed Thursday it was a tornado with winds gusting as high as 110 mph that ripped through a small portion of Monroe County Wednesday night injuring at least 17 people and damaging about 30 homes.

The tornado likely touched down about 10:30 p.m. Wednesday in the area of Ind. 45 and Leonard Springs Road moving northeast toward Ind. 37, said Tara Dudzik, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service.

The sporadic damage in that area suggests the tornado may have touched down more than once and included several “microburst events” — the downward motion of air as opposed to a rotating tornado, Dudzik said.

Guess what lies northeast of Leonard Springs Road along Hwy 37?

That's right.  Wapehani got hit by a tornado:



The Park is effectively closed.  Wapehani Road is blocked and the parking lot is inaccessible:



The gate to the old roadbed is in here somewhere:



Here's a view of the pad/slab from the cobbles and of the beginner trail just below:





It's just crazy damage everywhere we were able to get a look at:



I have no idea when the park will be open again.  As Eric said, weeks at least.  

If you are interested in helping with the cleanup, I hope to organize a work session for National Trails Day (June 4th, next Saturday).  Let me know if you could make it.

In the meantime, please do not park on Wapehani Rd and try to hike in. We need unimpeded access to that road in order to re-open it and we'd rather not have folks wandering around while we're sawing.  Thanks.
« Last Edit: June 08, 2011, 07:59:23 PM by idiolector »


Trekex8

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Re: Wapehani Closed (Tornado Cleanup)
« Reply #2 on: May 27, 2011, 01:43:59 PM »
I have a 35hp John Deere tractor with a front end loader. I live about 10 min from Wap. Let me know if I can help. Depending on what the conditions are, I might be able to scrounge up more equipment. I have a mountain biker buddy who also has a tractor the same size. I sure I can get him to help as well. This sucks. I REALLY enjoy biking at Wap. The quicker we get it cleaned up the quicker we get back to biking.

Trekex8

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Re: Wapehani Closed (Tornado Cleanup)
« Reply #3 on: May 27, 2011, 02:20:17 PM »
I also know a guy who has a Cat ASV with a front mulcher. It'll chew up trees up to 8" in dia. I might be able to "sweet talk" him into letting me borrow it. Just another idea.

Kevin M

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Re: Wapehani Closed (Tornado Cleanup)
« Reply #4 on: May 28, 2011, 09:12:05 AM »
Thanks very much for the offer of tractors and chipping!  I will pass it up the chain.  Parks & Rec has that kind of equipment, but it's tied up with work inside the city right now.  We should have Wapehani Rd opened up by the middle of next week, which will let us get into the parking lot.

Believe me when I say that I'll make every effort to get the park open as soon as humanly possible, but it really will be weeks at minimum.  Even if management signs off on letting volunteers in with heavy equipment (and honestly, I don't think it's likely), that only really helps us clear the cobbled roadbed.  What we really need is an army of sawyers...but Parks & Rec allowing volunteers to chainsaw at a hazardous site would be as unprecedented as the tornado damage itself.  If there are qualified folks with saws who step up, I will work on getting permission.

I spent Friday hiking around (where possible) and mapping work sites.  Excluding the cobbles, the pad, and a big swath of the northwest quad that is impenetrable, I've identified about fifty sites where we need to saw.  Those sites range from big limbs to single trunks to tangled clusterfraks of multiple trees hung up on each other. 

On the bright side: all of our bridges survived; the rock crib wall just off the parking lot took a direct hit and held up fine; and we should be able to mill a lot of nice hickory.  Lots of opportunities to get creative with the blowdown.

Thanks again for any and all offers of help.  Like I said, I will pass them all up the chain.  Management can always say "No," but at least they'll hear that the park's users value Wapehani enough to volunteer.  I'm still aiming for some kind of cleanup session next Saturday.  We should be able to get enough done next week to allow volunteers with hand saws, loppers, and rakes to get in and clean up the least impacted sites. 

LilJr

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Re: Wapehani Closed (Tornado Cleanup)
« Reply #5 on: May 29, 2011, 12:12:48 AM »
Terrible this happened to Wap!  I will definitely be out June 4th and I will try to get as many other volunteers to come out as well.  What kinds of tools should we bring (I doubt the rhino will be much help)?

deanarammalamma

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Re: Wapehani Closed (Tornado Cleanup)
« Reply #6 on: May 29, 2011, 07:44:55 AM »
I posted this on www.hmba.org. Thanks for all the work you're doing!

Black Cladsman

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Re: Wapehani Closed (Tornado Cleanup)
« Reply #7 on: May 29, 2011, 09:43:32 AM »
Terrible this happened to Wap!  I will definitely be out June 4th and I will try to get as many other volunteers to come out as well.  What kinds of tools should we bring (I doubt the rhino will be much help)?

We most likely will need leaf rakes and muscle to move sawed wood.  I'm sure Kevin will have a better idea on what we will need.  ofcourse it all depends on how many people tell us they are coming and show up! 

patches691

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Re: Wapehani Closed (Tornado Cleanup)
« Reply #8 on: May 29, 2011, 02:44:41 PM »
Kevin,
I can get a chainsaw and I am more than qualified to handle one.  Working on a farm most my life I know my way around one.  You make the call and time and I can be there.

Ryan

Jonathan Rupp

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Re: Wapehani Closed (Tornado Cleanup)
« Reply #9 on: May 29, 2011, 08:01:36 PM »
Repost from facebook- I'm interested in lending a hand(saw).  let us know when it's happening

brauner

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Re: Wapehani Closed (Tornado Cleanup)
« Reply #10 on: May 30, 2011, 09:43:30 AM »
The Wap got thrashed!! Huge trees blown over, or snapped like matchsticks. Lots of work to do to make our little gem rideable again. I will try my best to make the work day on the 4th.

Kevin M

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Re: Wapehani Closed (Tornado Cleanup)
« Reply #11 on: May 30, 2011, 06:50:24 PM »
Thanks, everyone.  And thanks Dean for managing the Facebook connection.

A lot of things will have to go right in the next two weeks to restore partial access to the trails, but most of the northwest corner is probably going to be closed for a month (again, if everything goes right). If it wasn't a touchdown site it was hit by one helluva microburst; it's the densest, most tangled bunch of blowdown in the park and I don't advise walking around to check it out without a hard hat.

Still firming up plans for Saturday.  I'm willing to schedule AM and early afternoon shifts if there's demand, but right now I'm only thinking 9 AM - 1 PM.

Bring leaf rakes, handsaws, loppers--stuff for clearing small debris and breaking down limbs.

 


Jonathan Rupp

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Re: Wapehani Closed (Tornado Cleanup)
« Reply #12 on: May 31, 2011, 12:55:58 PM »
Do we know if access to the parking lot will be clear by Saturday?  If not, is parking by the cell tower a no no?

AL

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Re: Wapehani Closed (Tornado Cleanup)
« Reply #13 on: May 31, 2011, 04:13:07 PM »
+ one from Indy for saturday I will try to bring others. 

Kevin M

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Re: Wapehani Closed (Tornado Cleanup)
« Reply #14 on: May 31, 2011, 05:26:36 PM »
It's a fluid situation, so I can't say for sure about parking on Saturday right now.  We may well end up parking along Tech Park Blvd if the lot is still blocked.

Eric and I worked on clearing lightly impacted areas and a couple of trailheads today.

We noticed that someone had already starting sawing their way down the PIC trail.  To whoever did that: thanks but no thanks right now.  (I don't know if it was a mountain biker or not; apparently other park users were parking in the apartments in order to walk in all weekend.)

Parts of the park are dangerous to hike around in. Trees and limbs are still coming down. Please stay out of the park for the time being. I understand the temptation to go look around, and we will have safe, partial access by the end of the week, but give us a couple of days to clear those areas.

Let me reiterate: no unauthorized chainsawing. Aside from the risks, you may end up cutting into a trunk that we're saving to mill or otherwise use for trail work and TTF's.

Thanks for your help and cooperation.

 

 

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