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Last weekend's tornado-laden storms did extensive damage that will keep the Neuse River Recreation Area near New Bern closed for the foreseeable future. The popular Croatan National Forest site, which includes Flanners Beach and a 45-site family campground, was to open for the season May 1.
The Sun Journal of New Bern reports that 30 different spots in the recreation area suffered some kind of damage in an F2 tornado that struck the area April 16. The report (which includes several photos) describes the campground as "covered with fallen trees and limbs" and said "huge pine trees lay on the beach" and "massive trees lay across" the picnic area.
"Trees were also lying across the 1.5-mile asphalt walking path that circles the campground," the newspaper said. "It had just been repaved. But now it will have to be checked for cracks and damage."
The recreation area usually opens March 1, but remained closed this spring as new bathhouses were built and the sewer system was repaired.
Check the National Forest Camping page on Carolina Outdoors Guide for additional Croatan National Forest campgrounds.
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