Hundreds of homes were destroyed, thousands of trees were snapped in half like twigs, and many families were without power for days. Any cars parked at the Sleeping Giant State Park were crushed by falling tress.
For Quinnipiac University students getting ready to graduate this weekend, Sleeping Giant State Park has been a big part of their college experience.
“It’s kind of a right of passage if you go to Quinnipiac University you’ve had to hike the giant,” said Victoria Johnson.
“Freshman year we would go as a group of friends, but also as a requirement for science classes,” said Emma Bartholomew.
The park has been closed after a tornado tore through the area 365 days ago. The recovery is still a work in progress.
“It’s been intense, it’s been very intense,” said Julie Hulten, who is the community outreach chair for the Sleeping Giant Park Association. She and other volunteers have been part of the clean up.
News 8 was let into the park Wednesday morning. Since the tornado last year, more than 2,000 trees have been removed from the area.
“The trails are pretty much clear. Every time we have a wind storm they go out and get a little sad because we cleared this trail already,” said Hulten.
The park is still closed, surrounded by chain link fence. Work still has to be done on what’s known as the Tower Trail.
“It’s the most popular area that people use and you can’t have people in the park with equipment up there.”
Which means the Quinnipiac University students won’t get one last trip to the top.
“It’s sad a lot of people at the end of the year they go up there, they take pictures,” said Johnson. “It takes you back to your freshman year and we haven’t been able to do that.”
Today marks one year since #tornadoes ripped through several communities in #Connecticut. One of the hardest hit areas was #Hamden and Sleeping Giant State Park, which is still closed as recovery work is ongoing. @WTNH pic.twitter.com/ITMyhmL5iS— Brian Spyros (@BrianSpyros) May 15, 2019
As for when the park will reopen, the Sleeping Giant Park Association says, unofficially, it’s looking more like the beginning of summer. However, that could always change.
Watch the full video on the recovery below:
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