SKY 19 reveals extensive tornado damage to Joe Wheeler State Park

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ROGERSVILLE, Ala. - The campgrounds at Joe Wheeler State Park in Rogersville are closed indefinitely as crews clean up countless downed trees following Monday night's tornado.

Rangers closed the entire park Tuesday so they could clear roads and restore power.

State park crews spent Tuesday cutting downed trees and clearing roads around the campground area of Joe Wheeler State Park.

This after a tornado ripped through the park around 5:15 p.m., Monday, according to rangers.

"The rangers were actually watching WHNT NEWS 19. Seriously they were watching Jason Simpson. He mentioned Joe Wheeler State Park about 15 minutes before it came in," said Ranger Chad Davis, the park's superintendent.

As soon as the rangers had confirmation that a tornado was likely and headed toward the campground, they jumped into action.

"We were vigilant in getting folks out of the campground. Getting them to a safe place. We got them to the lodge, which has a basement," said Davis.

No injuries were reported. However, several buildings and utilities were damaged. The main focus on Tuesday was to clear the roadways to allow power companies to reestablish power poles.

The goal is to get power restored this week. Potentially as early as Wednesday.

"If that is the case, we will re-open the lodge, the cottages, the marina and the golf course. The only thing that will remain closed will be out picnic and campground area," said Davis.

Sadly, the damage was so extensive, the campground area will never truly look the same.

"This state park is special to so many people. We have hundreds of thousands of visitors that come to this park. It's been here since the 70's," said Davis.

State park workers from all over Alabama have been working to clear downed trees at the park.

The National Weather Service is expected to tour the area soon.

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