Storm Forces Washington Monument State Park Closure

No Gravatar

First Washington MonumentWind and Rain Cause Heavy Damage

BOONSBORO, Md. — Washington Monument State Park is closed until further notice after a series of heavy thunderstorms swept through the region Wednesday.

“The storm caused extensive damage,” Park Manager Dan Spedden said Thursday.

There were no injuries to visitors or park personnel, but fierce winds and driving rain knocked out phone, electricity, and water service. Fallen trees and branches blocked the main road and the hiking trail to the monument in several places and the museum and water treatment buildings were severely damaged. The park’s youth camp ground was vacant when the storm struck on Wednesday.

The 147-acre park just east of Boonsboro is named for the stone tower erected by the town in 1827, believed to be the country’s first completed monument to President George Washington, who explored the Upper Potomac and the Western Maryland mountains as a young surveyor. The rustic locale features youth group campsites, picnic shelters and playing fields. It’s a favorite of bird watchers because it lies within a migratory bird flyway.

Spedden said camping reservations for the weekend have been cancelled and the park will remain closed while staff assesses the damage.