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  • Tragedy at Woodhaven Lakes....

    When writing these entries I try to be light hearted and keep to subjects that emote happiness and pleasure from my readers.  But recently there have been some severe storms in Illinois that have caused my family some initial distress and then after finding out that we were unharmed, relief for us but sorrow for our neighbors and the residents of Woodhaven Lakes in Sublette Illinois who have suffered mightly from the EF-1 tornado that moved through the south and south west corner of the recreational park.

    Woodhaven Lakes is almost 1,700 acres consisting of around 6,000 privately owned lots for RV or camping usage.   The park is or was heavily covered with trees mostly oak and pine and for those in the northern half the trees still remain.  But in the southern half most of the trees are either down or stipped bare of their leaves and branches as a result of natures furry that was unleased the evening of June 22nd, 2015.  I am unable to really asses or confirm the extent of the damage due to what appears to be a communication blackout from the park but I don't know if this is intentional or simply a matter of the web site being overwhelmed by the over 4,000 owners trying desperately to get information. 

  • Woodhaven Lakes - part 2

    We went to Woodhaven Lakes over the 4th of July weekend to check out the property.   While our lot and RV were just fine many others weren't so fortunate.  There were areas of the park where access was still highly restricted.  But after viewing the areas we could it became clear that the damage was simply devastating.  Thank God that no one was seriously hurt.

    The park set up a staging area behind Woody's market where a semi-trailer sized shredder was located to shred the debris into a mountain of chips.  We sat and watched the short bed dump trucks roll in one after another hauling debris from the south west sections of the park.  We estimate 100 - 150 truck loads a day were being hauled into the shredding area where they were loaded into the shredder and converted into chips.   The cleanup event was started on or about the 25th of June and we were watching this on the 5th of July.  So it had been going on for 10 days and there are still area's of the park that are closed except to those who have lots in them.  I would be surprised if they finish this debris removal by the end of July.

  • Woodhaven Lakes - part 3

     It is now August 24th, 2015 and the cleanup efforts are still underway at Woodhaven Lakes near Sublette, IL.  The EF1 tornado hit on Monday June 22nd and nearly destroyed the south west corner of the recreational facility.   Many families lost their RV's and or campsites and all of there posessions during the event.  It is amazing that it has been two months since the tornado and clean up is still continuing.

    We all thank God that it happened on a Monday when there was a much lower level of attendance than is witnessed on the weekend and no lives were lost.   It could have been much worse. 

    Some of those who have decided to stay and rebuild their recreational lifestyles are by now well towards the realization of their goals.  But some have not been so fortunate and were wiped out to a point that is not recoverable.  These people may decide to leave Woodhaven Lakes and just let the Association take possession of their lots and the effort to clean them up.  Right now no one knows for sure what efforts will be brought to bear by the Association in this matter but it currently appears that they are not too compassionate towards those who decide to just walk away.

  • Woodhaven Lakes - 2016 Update

    Woodhaven Lakes Picture #1

    We just made our first visit to Woodhaven Lakes located near Sublette, IL and wanted to update you on the recovery efforts from last summers damage from a tornado that happened on June 22nd, 2015.  Today is April 27th 2016 and the park has made major progress in the clean up efforts over the 9 months since the tornado.  

    The mountain of wood chips is nearly gone and I estimate that a dozen or two truckloads remain.  I believe that the target was to get things 'back to normal' by June 1st 2016 and great process has been made in the efforts to meet this objective.   Owners were given 1 year to clean up their lots of the down trees and other rubbish left from the tornado.   Most of them have done so but there still remains some who made the decision to 'walk away' or abandon their lots.  Most if not all of these were owners that did not have insurance and found themselves having to foot the bill to comply with the associations 1 year time limit on their own.  My experience leaves me to estimate that it may be less expensive to start over rather than to remove the debris.

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