MANDEVILLE, La. - Add state parks to the list of Hurricane Isaac victims.
Eight sites were affected by the storm, from flooding to wind damage and even infrastructure issues. At Fairview-Riverside State Park in Madisonville, Isaac left deep scars, many that will be on the mend for a while.
"We have several buildings that have sustained water damage and wind damage," said Marshall Pierre, a ranger specialist with the Office of State Parks.
Eight feet of water from the Tchefuncte River filled the property off of Highway 22. Almost three feet got into the Entry Station. The same amount flooded bathrooms across the property. While the Otis House didn’t flood, it did suffer roof damage and water leaks.
The beating from the storm was even worse for Fontainebleau State Park in Mandeville, where lifted cabins were flooded and battered by Isaac’s surge. Mud and marsh grass from that surge still sits in a swimming pool on the grounds, which is a sad site for park fans.
“Most of them understand this damaged with the hurricane," said Fontainebleau Park Manager Bobby Dwayne Borel.
The Bogue Chitto State Park in Franklinton fared a little better. Power and sewer issues, just like in Madisonville and Mandeville, plagued the park. But now, park workers say mostly everything has returned to normal.
Regardless of what the damage is, and where, all of these parks are committed to taking down the “Closed” signs as soon as possible.
Pierre said, “We still working hard to get the park up and running and get you back in."
"Just be patient,” said Borel, “Hopefully we'll open up better than before."
All of the damage totals more than $7 million and many parks are estimating months before they’re fully operational. The Office of State Parks is updating its website daily to let park-goers know of any openings.