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Wayne National still recovering from flooding

Pedro — Heavy rains and high winds are being blamed for damages at the Wayne National Forest Lake Vesuvius Recreation Area.

The Storms Creek Bridge on County Road 29, the main access road, was severely damaged by high water. It will be closed until repairs can be made.

The historic stone bridge was originally designed and built by the Civilian Conservation Corp as a 1930’s era Works Progress Administration project.

County Road 29 is closed just before it intersects with County Road 44 near the location of the Lake Vesuvius Nature Center and the historic Vesuvius Iron Furnace.

The Lawrence County Engineer is working on plans to repair County Road 29 and officials hope to have it reopened soon.

The road to the boat launch area was not impacted and remains open but the storm left sediment and debris at the boat ramp.

Plans are already in place to clean out the boat launch area but the contract could take several weeks to be completed.

“We want the community and forest visitors to have access to all areas of the Wayne National Forest but we also want to keep everyone safe,” said Tim Slone, Ironton District Ranger.

“We will work hard to restore the areas that were hit hard by the storm.”

Other public facilities including the Iron Ridge campground, Lake Vesuvius boardwalk, Vesuvius Furnace Shelter, archery trail, picnic areas and walking trails remain open.

The Iron Ridge Campground, Sand Hill Horse Trailhead, Paddle Creek Horse Camp and nearby trails can be accessed from the south via State Route 141 and County Road 5.

A warehouse used as a work center by the Ironton Ranger District also sustained extensive damaged when a large tree fell on it.

Wayne National Forest employees have been busy cleaning up flood damage at the recreation areas and facilities.

“Along with the community, we are saddened by the damage to the beautiful, historic bridge. It’s going to take us a while to assess the full extent of the damage to the Lake Vesuvius Recreation Area,” said Marsha Wikle, Ironton Assistant District Ranger.

Up-to-date information on the conditions and access to Lake Vesuvius is available at the district office at (740) 534-6500. On weekends, information is available at the Vesuvius Boat and Hiking Center.