U.S. Forest Service surveys Boundary Waters damage

By KBJR News 1

July 23, 2014 Updated Jul 23, 2014 at 6:42 PM CST

Crane Lake, MN (NNCNOW.com) --- The U.S. Forest service is continuing its survey of storm damage in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area.

"The scariest thing I've ever been through. I was up all night literally clutching my husband and I prayed all night long" said Jessica Fischer, who was camping in the Boundary Waters Monday night.

Storms rolled through the Northland Monday night causing havoc all over. Some campers in the boundary waters canoe area had to be air lifted out because of injuries from falling trees. Jessica Fischer and her husband weren't injured, but still had to be air lifted.

"My husband got out of the tent before I did, came back, and said 'I have some bad news and I don't want you to panic, our canoe has been blown away'" said Fischer.

Jessica and her husband were in just the type of situation the U.S. Forest Service fears may have happened to other campers.

"We're still evaluating those areas that were most heavily impacted to ensure there isn't anyone out there still needing assistance. We have some reports of canoes that blew away from campsites" said Andrew Johnson of the U.S. Forest Service.

The Forest Service has conducted an aerial survey of damage and the conclusion...

"There were these pockets where there was intense storm activity and then large areas with no impacts" said Johnson.

Pockets located near Loon Lake and Lady Boot Bay caused injuries among one group of five women, and another group of nine people, all of whom had long treks to get back to civilization. Two mothers and an aunt suffered injuries near the Loon Lake campsite and without cell phone service to call for help, their daughters acted fast.

"The two daughters went in the middle of the night, they knew they would find a campsite and they paddled to a campsite and fortunately that site had a satellite phone and they were able to call."

As for Jessica Fischer, she joins the many who may call it the scariest night of their lives, but if you ask her if she plans to return to the wilderness...
"Absolutely, we go every two years, yep, we'll be back, for sure" said Fischer.

The Forest Service says all areas in the Boundary Waters will remain open, however there are some portages that are very difficult to cross.
In the past week 895 permits have been active for access to the boundary waters.

Bryce Henry
bhenry@kbjr.com

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