WYOMING, Mich. (WOOD) — Saturday’s tornadoes hit Wyoming especially hard, leaving a swath of destruction throughout the city. Perhaps nowhere was hit harder than the city’s premier park, Pinery Park.
The winds went from one end of the 75-acre park to the other, downing old growth trees.
This comes only two years after Wyoming’s Ideal Park, an older, 91-acre park, was devastated by a tornado. City leaders wondered if it could be restored. Over the last two years, the city has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars rehabbing Ideal Park and, if it gets a state grant, could spend another $800,000 on it.
“We learned some lessons in 2014. We’re hopefully going to prepare and use those lessons,” City Manager Curtis Holt said at a Saturday night press conference.
While the damage to Pinery Park is extensive, Wyoming Parks Director Rebbeca Rynbrant said it appears that unlike Ideal Park, there was no damage to the structures — shelters and play equipment — like there was when Ideal was hit by the tornado in July 2014.
“There are still trees standing there — different from Ideal where there were no trees standing when that one was done,” Holt said.
Rynbrandt also said the Buck Creek Nature Preserve, a series of trails and walkways near 44th Street, was damaged in the storm.>>Photos of the storm damage
Both Pinery Park and the nature preserve are closed to the public while damage is assessed and the parks are made safe from debris and still falling trees. Rynbrandt told 24 Hour News 8 the parks department is asking people to stay away from the parks until further notice. Updates will be posted on the city’s website.