LANCASTER, Pa. — Severe weather swept through South Central Pennsylvania on Wednesday, and parts of Lancaster were hit hard. City crews woke up to destruction mostly taking over Long's Park.
"I've been here 23 years and I've never seen anything like this. I kept hearing words like it's the worst damage I've ever seen, it looks like a war zone," explained the Supervisor at Long's Park, Deborah Martin Beroski.
City officials first began receiving a flurry of calls and text messages late Wednesday night.
"This is the crown jewel of the City of Lancaster and because we are a team, within hours of this happening the people above me had a plan in place," said Martin Beroski.
With 2,000 trees spanning across 80 acres -- there's a lot of ground to cover. Crews got right to work moving quickly to get everything cleaned up.
Their top priority is making sure everything is safe -- in addition to clearing the roads, assessing the dangling limbs, and the downed wires.
"As intensive and oddly specific the damage is, it seems to be contained to just this area…. I've not seen this type of damage in a public park before," said the Manager Parks and Public Property for the City of Lancaster, Ryan Hunter.
Challenges remain though after the clean up, like replacing the 80 or so trees they lost to the storm. Many of them were over 150 years old.
In regards to replacing the trees Hunter said, "Some of it is very disheartening to see but it's nature and we understand that and thankfully it's a renewable resource it just takes time."
They also brought in arborists to Long's Park, so they could review the splits in tree trunks and such.
Crews got right to work wasting no time, with roughly 75 personnel working throughout the day. Keeping their goal in mind, to make sure the park can reopen for the long holiday weekend.
"The goal is to be reopen by 3:30 p.m., on Friday so we can have the park open and usable for the holiday weekend," Hunter said.