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STORMS HIT STATE PARKS

Heavy storms in northern Minnesota hit several state parks knocking out power and temporarily closing some overnight facilities.  Itasca State Park received the most damage.Heavy storms and damaging winds in northern Minnesota downed trees and knocked out power in several state parks and recreation areas including Itasca State Park early Thursday.

No injuries have been reported.  DNR staff are still assessing state parks, trails, water accesses, roads and facilities in the northern half of the state for potential damage.  Visitors are reminded to check online at http://www.mndnr.gov/closures for updates on current conditions and closures before traveling.  With power and telephone lines down, updates will be made as soon as possible.

Visitors should beware of dangers posed by the aftermath of the storm, such as downed or uprooted trees, other debris on trails and at accesses, and localized flooding.  The DNR is alerting guests with camping and lodging reservations impacted by closures.

The Itasca State Park remains open for day use.  The north and south entrances are open, but the east entrance is temporarily closed.  Visitors are encouraged to use caution because parks and trails crews are busy cleaning up downed trees and other damage.

Most of the park’s public buildings, including cabins, the lodge and the visitor center are temporarily closed.  Power and phone lines are out at this time.  Camping and lodging availability will be assessed daily.  It is best to go online http://www.mndnr.gov/itasca for the latest updates and current conditions.

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