Geologists Study Mount Baldy Dune Collapse

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July 26, 2013 —  Geologists are using heavy equipment at Mount Baldy along Michigan City’s shoreline to conduct two studies.  They want to determine how a boy was buried under 11-feet of sand for more than three hours earlier this month.

Six-year-old Nathan Woessner was released this week from Comer Children’s Hospital … and a hospital spokesperson says he will continue to need rehabilitative therapy for several days.  The Lakeshore’s Denise Turner went to the dune where the new studies could help the National Park Service understand the collapse … and prevent similar incidents.


The National Park Service is working with geologists from all over the region to figure out what happened on Mount Baldy.

–Ranger Bruce Rowe, Indiana Dunes Spokesperson–At this point, we have put together an investigative team, made up of park staff and a geologist.

Park Ranger Rowe says geologists and investigators are performing two types of studies.

Rowe–The first step is called a conductivity study, which will look at all 42-arcs of Mt. Baldy.

The other…will take a general picture showing any anomalies underneath the dune.

Denise–The National Park Service has talked to Geologists all over the country and so far, no one can explain how a hole open on Mt. Baldy.

Rowe–As a matter of fact, one said if he hadn’t heard that it had happened, he would have said, that it was impossible.

Rowe says … at this point … the Park Service does not know what it will find … he says the big question is whether they find other holes like this one.

Rowe–At this point, we don’t know exactly what we are going to find, but we are going to look to see if there’s any other holes like the one that swallowed up this little boy.

The Ranger says it’s too early to tell what the study will find and what steps to take if other holes are discovered.

Rowe–We don’t really know what mitigations will do at this point, it’s possible we may fill them in or perhaps we’ll close off those areas of the dunes and warn people why it’s closed and the safety risks.

Either way … Park Ranger Rowe says Mount Baldy is going to be closed indefinitely … until the Park Service knows if it holds any other dangers.  At the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore, Denise Turner, Lakeshore News.



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