Winter storm crushes roofs, hampers campers

By Lisa Burnett Originally Published January 27, 2013 at 12:00 a.m.
Updated January 25, 2013 at 10:44 a.m.
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Crews are working to repair the dock at Lindsey's Resort on the Little Red River near Heber Springs and other damages resulting from the winter storm that hit the area Christmas Day.

A Christmas-night winter storm that damaged buildings and trees across the state and caused hundreds of thousands of Arkansans to lose power is still causing problems for some resorts and state parks.

Lindsey’s Resort on the Little Red River in Heber Springs received significant damage from the storm, which hit the state Dec. 25.

Terri Lindsey White, one of the partners who owns the resort, said the roof of the boat dock collapsed because of the weight of the snow.

“We didn’t have to close because of it,” White said. “It damaged the boats that [were in the dock] at the time.”

Despite the damage to the boat dock, White and other workers at the resort are making light of the dock’s current roofless state.

“We’re just in convertible mode, with the top down,” White said.

The resort is in the process of rebuilding the roof, and White said the business is still operational.

Billy Lindsey, managing partner of the resort, is grateful for the outpouring of support and help from his friends and neighbors.

“They cleaned up [the roof] in two days, and that would normally take our crew two months to do,” Lindsey said.

White said the resort is in the process of rebuilding the roof but doesn’t have an estimated completion date.

“We’ve been renting boats,” White said. “The Lord has blessed us.”

Chris Butts, managing partner of Lobo Landing Resort in Heber Springs, said the boat dock at his resort also collapsed.

“[The storm] sank about eight or nine boats and caused about $7,500 to $8,500 worth of damage to the dock,” Butts said.

He said the week of the Christmas holiday is usually one of the resort’s busiest weeks during a season that is usually very slow.

“Most of the customers [whose reservations] we had to cancel were understanding,” Butts said. “When you don’t have power, that makes it hard.”

Along with resorts in the area, forests and campsites also sustained damage.

The wooded areas in John F. Kennedy Park in Heber Springs have broken limbs, as well as trees that have fallen.

Joe Harper, chief park ranger at Greers Ferry Lake, said his crew had to cut about 25 trees out of the road the day after the winter storm.

“The main damage was tree damage,” Harper said. “We’ve been working almost two weeks on [the trees]; now we’re dealing with higher limbs, and that should be done on [Jan. 24 or 25.]”

He said one part of the campsite, section D, had to be closed because of the storm.

“We had one camper [in section D] who called 911 that morning, and we had to use chain saws to get to them,” Harper said.

The D area in JFK Park, one of the most popular areas for camping, is expected to be open for camping by Monday at the latest, Harper said.

Staff Writer Lisa Burnett can be reached at (501)244-4307 or

Online News Editor Lisa Burnett can be reached at

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