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Forever Changed: Pine Lake lost countless trees in storm

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Pine Lake State Park

Pine Lake State Park staff have removed 585 dead or damaged trees since 2009, and 10,000 new trees have been planted. The park, which is located on the east edge of Eldora, will never look the way it once did.

A visitor who never saw Pine Lake State Park before Aug. 9, 2009, would have no idea how changed it was by the hail storm that day. The storm, which hurtled hail stones into buildings, cars and trees, devastated the 668-acre park just east of Eldora.

“The damage to the environment itself, I don’t know if there’s any way to calculate what it did,” said Park Manager Don Primus. “Anything that had a northwest exposure is gone, it’s just gone.”

Pine Lake State Park

An aerial photo, taken in the days after the 2009 hail storm, shows that many of the park’s trees were stripped of their leaves. As a result, many died and have had to be removed.

Pine Lake State Park Hail

Hailstones collected outside a building at Pine Lake State Park. At their largest, the hailstones were baseball-sized - about 5 1/2 inches wide.

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