Storm slaps Chehaw Park

Storm slaps Chehaw Park
Chehaw Park's Morgan Burnette
Chehaw Park's Morgan Burnette

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - Folks in Albany continue to clean up after powerful storms walloped the city Wednesday.

Some Chehaw Park trees knocked down by the storm are huge. Most of them look like healthy trees that just got toppled by the winds. Inside the zoo, things looked pretty bad.

"Luckily it doesn't lead to anything, but it was taken out by a pretty large tree," said Chehaw Park's Morgan Burnette.

Cleanup crews picked up limbs blocking walkways at the zoo. With all these downed trees, there was a silver lining.

"We are very fortunate that none of our animals or staff was injured. We're also fortunate that none of our shelters were really affected," said Burnette.

All of the animals had been put inside when the storms rolled through. Lightning and wind pounded Albany for about 30 minutes.

"One of the biggest issues we had yesterday with the storm was that it took out our suspension bridge."

That bridge leads to the lemur, bobcats, and bald eagles and could cost several hundred thousand dollars to replace.
An engineer is coming in to assess the damage.

"We're worried that may be a significant cost. We're having to get an engineer in. We're worried about the safety of our guest and want to make sure it's safe," said Burnette.

Across the street in the River Point subdivision, crews were doing much of the same. cutting up and loading up downed trees.

"Cutting down trees, getting up trees," said Alazai Wyatt. "We call ourselves nature's playground. But when you put yourself in the middle of nature, you can't always predict the outcome," said Burnette.

Luckily the outcome wasn't too bad this time. None of the exhibits suffered much damage.

Burnette says even if that happened, there is a zoo perimeter fence that would prevent animals from being on the loose. Because that bridge is out, part of the zoo is inaccessible. Due to that, the park did lower zoo prices. Adult tickets will be $4 and tickets for children 4-12, military, and seniors will be $3 until the bridge is fixed.

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