Contacts: Jeanne Curran, (207) 287-3156
Maine Department of Conservation: Most State Parks, Historic Sites Open; Sustain Tree Damage Only
(August 29, 2011)
AUGUSTA, Maine – Maine state parks and historic sites sustained some damage to trees and shorefronts during Tropical Storm Irene, with no buildings or facilities damaged, according to officials with the Maine Bureau of Parks and Lands (BPL), under the Maine Department of Conservation.
All but three parks opened on Monday, with Mackworth Island at Falmouth and Sebago Lake State Park campground and day-use area closed. Mackworth Island, closed because of tree damage on the trail, is expected to re-open on Tuesday.
Sebago Lake remains closed until Wednesday at the earliest, according to BPL officials. The park had extensive tree damage with downed power lines. A utility pole at Witch Cove also was broken, however no buildings, shelters nor recreational vehicles left in the campgrounds were damaged, according to reports.
Warren Island State Park, located in the Penobscot Bay off Lincolnville, is open but not staffed.
Eagle Island State Historic Site, summer home of Admiral Robert E. Peary, also is closed Monday and Tuesday, though it may open Tuesday afternoon once an assessment is made. The island home and other structures were completely closed and battened down for the storm, and a boat ramp was removed.
BPL staff is not recommending that visitors try to go to the island sites, as the seas still are rough for boaters.
All northern region campgrounds are open. Fort Knox State Historic Site is open, and the Maine Department of Transportation has announced the reopening of the Penobscot Narrows Observatory in Prospect at 1:30 p.m. Tom Desjardin, BPL park historian, reports that the views are spectacular due to the lack of haze in the atmosphere.
Initial assessments of Popham Beach State Park, a beach that suffered from severe erosion until the Morse River changed its course earlier this year and started rebuilding, showed minimal damage, according to BPL officials. Some tree limbs were reported down, but the parking lot is cleaned up. There also was no damage to any building or infrastructure.
The beach dune sustained some undercutting from the storm, but nonetheless held up fairly well, according to staff reports.
Will Harris, BPL director, and other BPL staff members were on site at the beach park early Monday morning and also at Sebago Lake later Monday. Marine geologist Stephen Dickson of the Maine Geological Survey also was heading to the park for a coastal erosion assessment around high tide.
Peter Slovinsky, MGS marine geologist, also is conducting a coastal erosion survey on Monday in the Saco Bay area, possibly including Old Orchard Beach and Scarborough.
For more information on Maine state parks and historic sites, go to: http://www.parksandlands.com