More than a month after being closed by Superstorm Sandy, Holly River State Park will begin taking calls on Monday, December 3, from a temporary office. Electric service at Holly River has been interrupted since October 29, when the area was hit by the storm.
Although utility service into the main park has not been restored, one state-owned building located in a separate area of the park has restored service. Part of this building will be converted into a temporary office and information center to serve the public. Park staff has moved the office computer, reservation books, a phone, and other office needs to create a temporary office to serve park patrons, take reservations and answer questions
“We have been overwhelmed with emails and calls of concern for Holly River and the employees there,” said Brad Reed, district administrator for West Virginia State Parks. “We are very pleased to get our general services up and running again and to be able to provide service and communication to our park guests.”
The temporary phone number until the main park office has full power restoration is 304-493-6559. The office operating hours will be Monday – Friday, from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m. The email to contact Holly River is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Holly River State Park sustained heavy damage from the storm, perhaps more than any other state park. In five hours, the park was blanketed in 31 inches of heavy, wet snow. The final depth exceeded 36 inches by November 1. Approximately 95 percent of the electric lines fell to the ground and more than 15 power poles were snapped by downed trees and limbs. Two transformers were smashed. To make matters worse, a hill slide covered and created additional blockage to the road to the cabin area.
Holly River Superintendent Ken McClintic and the park staff extend their gratitude to park patrons and well-wishers for their concern, patience and understanding as storm recovery continues. “Power lines at Holly River are owned by the park system and our restoration efforts are under way,” McClintic said. “Our goal is to be open in the spring.”
Other state parks heavily damaged with power outages for more than seven days were Blackwater Falls, Cathedral, Babcock, Audra, Carnifex Ferry Battlefield, Twin Falls, and Hawks Nest state parks, along with Coopers Rock and Kanawha state forests. Other areas also experienced downed trees and power outages for fewer days. Trail and roadside tree debris clean-up continues at most state parks across West Virginia from both the June dechero and Sandy. An update page was maintained on the state park website with storm damage images.
Holly River State Park is located in Webster County in Hacker Valley. It is the second largest park in acreage in the West Virginia park system with a total of 8,101 acres. Nestled in a narrow valley, the park is surrounded by heavily forested mountains, some reaching heights of over 2,800 feet. Learn more about Holly River State Park at www.hollyriver.com.
Logo courtesy West Virginia Division of Natural Resources