• Last modified 1490 days ago (May 28, 2015)


Tree falls at lake, damaging stage

Bluegrass festival will still happen

Staff writer

Less than a month before Blue Grass at the Lake, high winds caused a towering cottonwood tree to fall and collapse a stage canopy Friday night at Marion County Park and Lake.

“It was an older tree, rotted and hollowed out in the trunk at the bottom where it broke,” lake superintendent Steve Hudson said. “We had some pretty big gusts Friday night that probably caused it to fall.”

A private weather station at the lake recorded a peak gust of 20 mph between 9:30 and 9:45 p.m. Friday.

“I talked to one camper who told me he heard it crack,” Hudson said. “I guess it was pretty loud.”

Even though the stage’s aluminum canopy was deformed by the tree when it fell, very little decking was damaged. The tree narrowly missed the deck, landing two feet north of it.

Hudson said Bluegrass at the Lake would still occur the third weekend in June.

“We plan to try and have it outdoors, but we might have to move it into the lake hall,” he said.

The tree will be removed and repairs will be made, but Hudson doesn’t foresee much associated cost.

He expects most, if not all, of the canopy can be salvaged, but its upright poles might need to be straightened.

“It’s not the first time high winds have damaged the stage,” he said. “Last time, some quality volunteers stepped up and rebuilt the stage, and it wouldn’t surprise me if that happens again.”

Last modified May 28, 2015