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Sleeping Giant State Park reopens one year after tornado rips through Hamden

HAMDEN  — After 13 months of work Sleeping Giant State Park is back open.

Dozens of people were counting the minutes until the park reopened on Friday. The popular park was forced to close down last year after a tornado ripped through Hamden.

“You heard a lot of wind. You couldn’t really see anything. I got out to the park I was like wow...where did the park go?” said Jill Scheibenpflug, the Park Supervisor.

SKY61 flew over the destruction, capturing debris scattered everywhere, thousands of tress knocked over, and trails too dangerous to access.

“The Tower Trail had about 175 miles trees on it. That’s only a mile and a half,” said Scheibenpflug.

Crews worked countless hours to restore the park. They chopped down trees, replanted new ones, and cleared up trails. Park crews finally saw all their hard work pay off Friday morning.

“I thought there would be some people but I didn’t think it was going to be like this,” said Scheibenpflug.

From long tome Hamden residents, to Quinnipiac athletes, all of them eager to hike the trails again.

“We’re going for run up to the top of the tower trail which we used to do as part of our training for the cross country team. Last year we weren’t able to do it as part of our training process so now we’re excited to get back out this year,” said Maria Ricalton, a student at Quinnipiac.

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