SALT LAKE CITY, Utah — Most parks in Salt Lake City and the surrounding areas will remain closed for an indefinite period of time following devastating winds that caused massive tree damage.
Dozens of downed trees were seen in Liberty Park, many of them nearly a half-century old. Not only were the trees blown over, but the land surrounding the trees was torn up and often lifted several feet in the air.
A few visitors who were at the park in the morning witnessed the trees being dropped by the winds, leaving them with an indelible image they'll never forget.
"We saw the sidewalk kind of 'breathing,' the tree was just pushing up and just fell over after about 45 minutes of us being here." said Cole. "It was crazy."
As the day went on, many felt sadness over the destruction at one of the city's most beloved and visited parks.
"It's kind of a really sad tragedy." said Gable, a resident who lives across the street from the park. "We have a lot of trees in front of us, five trees that were going to be really beautiful for the fall time and now they're dead and gone."
Late Tuesday, Salt Lake City Public Lands announced the following parks will be closed until further notice due to fallen trees:
- City Creek Canyon
- Lindsay Gardens
- Salt Lake City Cemetery
- Warm Springs
- Washington Square
With so many trees downed across the area, it may be awhile before the parks return to their former status. For Cole, he wonders if it will ever happen.
"It's going to be hard for the park to recover from this."