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Camper killed northwest of Priest Lake during Sunday’s storms

Mon., Aug. 26, 2013, 2:05 p.m.

Idaho Panhandle National Forests staffers are scrambling to assess tree damage at developed forest sites after a visitor was killed in the Stagger Inn Campground northwest of Priest Lake by a damaged tree during thunder storms on Sunday night.

Kyle L. Garrett, 48, of Sandpoint, died when a 200-foot-tall tree uprooted and fell on his tent, according to the Pend Oreille County Sheriff’s Office. A 52-year-old woman was also injured and was treated for non-life threatening injuries.

The Stagger Inn is a small, primitive campground at the Roosevelt Grove of Ancient Cedars in Pend Oreille County just west of the Idaho state line.

Other campgrounds are being evaluated before the Labor Day holiday.

On July 20, 2012, thunderstorms packed hurricane-force winds that snapped and uprooted thousands of trees, raising havoc across in northeastern Washington and North Idaho.

Two people died, cabins were smashed, forest trails and roads were clogged with blowdowns, campers were terrorized and thousands went days without electricity. Some of the heaviest damage was at Priest Lake. In Ferry County alone, 750 miles of power lines were still down days later.

In one of the 2012 deaths, a Walla Walla man was killed when a tree fell onto his pickup truck while he was traveling on a private driveway at Priest Lake.

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