STORM DAMAGE KEEPS PARVIN STATE PARK CLOSED
(12/P74) TRENTON - Parvin State Park in Salem County will remain closed indefinitely for safety reasons as work crews continue a massive cleanup effort to deal with devastation caused by a storm with vicious winds that tore through the park early Saturday morning, killing two young campers.
Hundreds of trees were toppled by the storm, blocking roads and trails, damaging cabins and other park structures, and downing power lines in the park. Power remains out at the park today. The National Weather Service said wind gusts exceeding 80 mph accompanied the storm on Saturday.
“Safety is our top priority,’’ said Rich Boornazian, DEP Assistant Commissioner for Natural and Historic Resources. “We are working hard to get this park opened as soon as possible. We know a lot of people had plans to camp, hike, picnic and swim at the park for the Fourth of July holiday. But we cannot reopen at Parvin until we are sure of the safety of our visitors.’’
Many large and healthy trees were snapped in half or uprooted, crashing down on buildings, vehicles, campsites, and blocking roads and trails. Crews from the New Jersey Forest Fire Service and park maintenance employees, as well as private contractors, are working to clear the trees and debris to reopen roads and trails. Hanging limbs and toppled trees remain a significant safety hazard.
Atlantic City Electric, which has been working to restore power to thousands of South Jersey customers who lost electric service due to the storm, has surveyed Parvin State Park to assess damage to power lines and needed repairs.
The state park system is trying to accommodate displaced campers at other parks but advises that many campsites already are fully booked for the holiday week. Campers with current or upcoming reservations have been notified of their options for refunds or alternate state park camping locations. Any questions on reservations can be directed to the State Park Services’ Southern Regional Office at (609) 965-5220 starting on Thursday, July 5.
Located in Pittsgrove, Salem County, Parvin State Park is situated in a mixed hardwood and evergreen forest at the edge of the Pine Barrens. It is a popular destination for camping, hiking, swimming, boating and fishing. It has 56 individual tent campsites, 4 large group campsites, and 18 cabins. It is usually fully booked this time of year.
For more information on Parvin State Park and updated details on the park closing, visit: http://www.nj.gov/dep/parksandforests/parks/parvin.html