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NH Tourism Takes Hit From Irene

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The famous Kancamagus Highway was damaged by Irene.

The famous Kancamagus Highway was damaged by Irene.

WBZ-TV's Lauren Leamanczyk Lauren Leamanczyk
Lauren Leamanczyk is an I-Team Correspondent for WBZ-TV News and is...
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WHITE MOUNTAINS, NH—Some of the areas in New Hampshire most affected by Irene are the places tourists love to visit.

The famous Kancamagus Highway was no match for the torrential downpours of Irene. Parts of the scenic mountain pass are collapsed and buckled from Woodstock to North Conway.

It’s just one of the tourist attractions in the White Mountains damaged by the storm.

WBZ-TV’s Lauren Leamanczyk reports

Chris Howard manages the nearby Alpine Adventures. Their phone is ringing off the hook. “Primarily checking to make sure we’re still open,” he explained. “With the weather the way it was, a lot of the attractions in the area still have not opened.”

Several New Hampshire campgrounds have been destroyed just before one of their biggest weekends. Campers were tossed around at New Hampshire Motorsports Campground in Woodstock. In the White Mountain National Forest, there are pieces of road and rubble where tents and picnic tables should be. 13 of the 23 campgrounds were closed as of Tuesday evening. Crews are working hard, but many of the sites won’t open by the weekend. A spokeswoman for the forest says there’s plenty for tourists to enjoy, but they’ll need to be flexible.

“People should expect some unexpected conditions, unstable conditions. It’ll vary greatly across the board,” said Tiffany Benna. “The best thing is don’t be attached to your itinerary. Don’t be attached to your hike. If it looks bad turn around.”

The closures didn’t deter the Katz family from New York. And they say others shouldn’t stay away either.

“There’s enough activity around here that is open that you won’t be bored,” said Mosche Katz.

The Visit the White Mountains tourism association points out that while some roads and areas are closed off, many key attractions like Mt. Washington, Story Land and Santa’s Village remain operational.

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