Copper theft hits Sand Isle park site
The six restrooms are broken and will need costly repairs
Copper thieves struck Tuesday night at Sand Island State Recreation Area, damaging the electrical system that powers the park's sewage pumping system.
The state Department of Land and Natural Resources was forced to close the park since the sewage pumping system is inoperable and restrooms cannot be used.
"Because of the amount of damage to the park's sewage pumping station, the transformer and theft of the electrical wires, we are unable to pump sewage from the park's six restrooms," Peter Young, director of the Department of Land and Natural Resources, said in a news release.
Sometime Tuesday night, thieves broke into an electrical transformer in a park restroom and took out the electrical copper wiring.
The thieves took more than 300 feet of copper wire from an underground line that runs from the transformer to the sewage pumping station, causing extensive damage to the transformer system, which will require costly repairs or replacement.
What is discouraging is that the sewage pumping system was replaced about a year and a half ago as part of an overall renovation of state parks, said Dan Quinn, state parks administrator.
The pump controls were basically gutted, and they and the transformer must be replaced, Quinn said.
Officials said there were no campers at the park Tuesday night.
The department did not have any estimated time required for repairs.
Those holding camping permits for this weekend should call the Parks Division permit line at 587-0300.