Park temporarily closed

THIS VIEW shows tree damage and a pickup truck lifted by the tornado that hit Maskenthine Lake Recreation Area earlier this week near Stanton.

Maskenthine Lake Recreation Area near Stanton took a direct hit from a tornado, causing extensive damage and closing it until further notice.

Destroyed was the home of Leonard Boryca, park superintendent. Also hit were other buildings and vehicles of the Lower Elkhorn Natural Resources District, which operates the park.

“Our superintendent’s house is gone, the tree distribution center is gone, so is the shop,’’ said Julie Wragge, an NRD spokeswoman. “It pretty much blew through there and took everything with it.’’

There is extensive tree damage as well. Staff spent Tuesday morning going through the remains.

While the camping area was relatively untouched, other damage was too severe, so the park is closed for now.

Staff at the park were warned about the approaching storm and had time to go to the superintendent’s house on the hill.

“They went into his basement for cover and held on for dear life,’’ Wragge said. “It sucked just about everything out of there. Leonard Boryca and forester Pam Bergstrom are both lucky to be alive.’’

They escaped injury.