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Friday, May 24th, 2024

Breaking News for

Sportsmen Since 1967

Friday, May 24th, 2024

Breaking News for

Sportsmen Since 1967

Ohio DNR still assessing damage as cleanup continues from March 14 storms

Columbus — The Ohio DNR (ODNR) has evaluated the damage to its properties across north-central Ohio caused by the March 14 tornadoes. The agency recently reported those damages to the Ohio Department of Administrative Services (DAS), which carries insurance on those properties.

ODNR is waiting for an assessment of the claim as the DAS internal risk management group is currently evaluating the reported damages, according to Andy Chow, spokesman for the Ohio DNR.

Despite a request, the agency did not provide a list to Ohio Outdoor News of exactly what was damaged and where.

That assessment may take a while since DAS is responsible for the insurance and risk management of all state-owned structures and properties that were affected by the storm.

While the bulk of the damage was to Indian Lake State Park in Logan County, the current ODNR claim also involves structures and properties in Champaign and Delaware counties. Damage was reported in all three counties to shelters, restrooms, and other infrastructure in multiple parks and wildlife areas, Chow noted.

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The March 14 storm spun an F-3 tornado that was estimated to be 1,000 yards wide when it struck Indian Lake and remained on the ground for 31 miles, according to a press release from the office of Gov. Mike DeWine.

Indian Lake State Park was closed until March 29 when campgrounds and all areas reopened, with the exception of Fox Island. The storm leveled a shelter house on that island and downed numerous trees. Clean-up is ongoing there.

A major problem associated with the storm was the debris that littered the lake and hindered boating activity. Volunteers and park staff have worked to gather and dispose of as much of that debris as possible. But it is likely that some remains, so caution is necessary on the behalf of boaters.

As a result, modifications to the no-wake zone remain in place and additional buoys are floating between Paradise Island east to Orchard Island and from Orchard Island east to Moundwood, according to the governor’s press release.

Indian Lake is the water source of the Great Miami River. Historically, it was the site of a marshy wetland.

The lake itself was hand-excavated in the mid-19th century as a feeder source for the Miami Canal and Erie Canal. By the 1920s, the area around the lake had become a popular resort destination, known throughout the Midwest as a “Million Dollar Playground” with hotels, dance halls, and restaurants. It also was once home to an amusement park.

In 1949, it became part of the newly formed Ohio Department of Natural Resources Division of Parks and Recreation.

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