Recreational activities and businesses in Mountain area still recovering after storm

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MOUNTAIN, Wis. (WBAY) - It's now been just over a month since severe storms, including 16 tornadoes, battered Wisconsin over a three-day period.

In northern Oconto County, one area was hit particularly hard.

It's a spot relying on tourism and recreation -- but Mountain is quickly running out of summer.

During the summer months ATV trails in mountain are packed, but not by storm debris.

"It was devastating," The Schoolhouse Bar co-owner Clay Smith said. "It's sad when you see stuff like that."

If you take a look inside The Schoolhouse Bar, it's empty.

"It's our busiest time of the year," Smith said. "I mean, it's huge. We're probably 60 to 75 percent down on business because the trails are closed."

That's because the storm left its mark on recreational activities, too, like ATV trails.

"There's really not a lot you can do because there's not a lot of people around," said Smith.

But the storm didn't only affect summer fun. Winter clubs are already growing concerned.

"We have to clean the trails and brush the trails every year, but with the storm that came through it's way more work this year," Rob Laabs, a member of Chute Pond Snowmobile Club, said.

Laabs said the snowmobile club has been putting in long hours to make sure the trails are ready to go.

"We got 3 or 4 guys out here regularly, and we had to get some special equipment this year to move all of the stuff and do it safely," Laabs said.

ATV clubs have been working on clearing trails as well.

They're expecting some to open up on Thursday, which means more business for The Schoolhouse Bar.

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Small loader moving storm debris
Workers use a small loader to clear storm debris from recreational areas near Mountain (WBAY photo)
Fallen trees from July storms block recreational trails in Oconto County (WBAY photo)
A worker with a chainsaw helps clear damaged trees from the July storms (WBAY photo)
Trees across forest trail
Fallen trees from July storms block recreational trails in Oconto County (WBAY photo)

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