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DEEP: Stay away from state parks closed by storm damage

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HARTFORD – Four state parks remain closed today after violent storms toppled trees on Tuesday, and state officials are asking people to let them get the cleanup done.

The State Parks Division of the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection is out cleaning up damage to parks that were hit hard by Tuesday’s storm.  As of Friday four parks remain closed: Sleeping Giant in Hamden, Kettletown in Southbury, Wharton Brook in Wallingford, and Squantz Pond in New Fairfield.

Sleeping Giant, Kettletown and Wharton Brook have suffered extensive damage and will remain closed for several days. Squantz Park is expected to reopen early next week. Chatfield Hollow in Killingworth, which had been closed following the storm, reopened Friday morning.

DEEP is reminding everyone that they should not attempt to visit any closed state park, and caution should also be used in ANY park or forest area. Stay clear of downed or hanging trees or limbs.

Additionally the Pond Brook State Boat Launch in Newtown, the Lake Zoar State Boat Launch in Southbury, and the Squantz Pond State Boat Launch in New Fairfield may not be accessible this weekend.

In a press release, DEEP Deputy Commissioner Susan Whalen said “We continue to see visitors attempting to come to our closed state parks to see the damage. For the safety of the general public and the crews working to clear the parks, it is imperative that only authorized personnel enter the parks at this time. There are 110 State Parks, 106 of which remain open to the public, we encourage visitors to make use of those other parks. EnCon [Environmental & Conservation Police] officers have increased patrols of the closed parks. Failure to obey the closures of these parks could result in an infraction or arrest for trespassing.”

FOX61’s Tony Terzi is covering the cleanup in Hamden, and shared these photos of the damage at the entrance to Sleeping Giant State Park. He’ll have more tonight on the FOX61 News starting at 4pm.

DEEP says that parks nearby to Sleeping Giant and Wharton Brook State Parks include: West Rock Ridge in Hamden & New Haven, and Wadsworth Falls State Park in Middlefield.
Nearby parks to Kettletown State Park include: Southford Falls in Oxford and Indian Well in Shelton.
Nearby parks to Squantz Pond State Park include: Putnam Memorial in Redding and Bennet’s Pond Ridgefield.

You can find a complete list of Connecticut State Parks here.

Google Map for coordinates 41.420969 by -72.899236.

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