Lake Winnepesaukah closed due to storm damage - | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Lake Winnepesaukah closed due to storm damage

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CATOOSA COUNTY, GA (WRCB) - Monday's storms turned a fun-filled day at Lake Winnepesaukah to some scary moments for park visitors.
The heavy rains and strong winds sent guests running for cover. Luckily, no one was injured but there is some damage to the park.

Park officials say strong winds brought down several trees and power lines inside the park. The park will be closed Wednesday June 10, for cleanup.

"It just went from bad to worse... just fast," said resident Jerry Dietz. 

Fire officials say 7 trees landed on homes and in yards during the storm. High winds destroyed several power lines as well, at one point the "Welcome" sign at Lake Winnepesaukah was ripped away into the intersection. EPB spokesperson John Pless tells Channel 3, line crews are pulling double shifts to clean up the damage.

"This gives you an idea of how severe this storm was...we have over 325 damage locations on our system," said John Pless. 

Inside Lake Winnie, broken trees and power lines made it too dangerous for our crews to go inside. Workers tell us there's minor structure damage and everyone visiting the park had to be evacuated.

"With all the children going there and everything that's kind of scary not to have any kind of warning at all," said Dietz. 
Jerry Dietz is one of hundreds who lost power, his home is damaged as well.

"It was a matter of seconds when the wind picked up... it just really picked up it almost looked like a tornado," said Dietz. " It touched down and then it just left."

 Fire officials who surveyed the damage in the park and surrounding neighborhoods tell Channel 3, strong down burst winds more than 60 mph are to blame.

EPB officials say because trees and limbs have to be cleared away first,restoring power will take time. Crews hope to have all power restored by 8 o'clock Tuesday night.

"It's just going to be a hot muggy day, we're just going to have to endure it I guess," said Dietz.

Park officials say they hope to have Lake Winnie back open by Thursday June 11.

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