Paul Murphy / Eyewitness News
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NEW ORLEANS -- Fort Pike is once again standing guard over the Rigolets.

The state historic site closed last August after Hurricane Isaac blew through the area.

Tuesday, it opened for the first time since the storm left the nearly 200-year-old fort battered and underwater.

'The fort here probably had about 4 feet of water inside of it,' said Art Schick, Jr., from the Louisiana Office of State Parks. 'The debris line that came in through the marsh.'

Dozens of visitors filed through the fort where 54 cannons once protected the backside of New Orleans from British invaders.

It was built along a narrow waterway connecting the Gulf of Mexico to Lake Pontchartrain.

'I heard that this fort was reopening and I'm very interested in old forts,' said Kim O'Neal from Atlanta. 'I happened to be a Sons of the American Revolution, so I like to see historical sites.'

'It's pretty amazing,' said Donna Barnes from Tennessee. 'I can't believe that this is still standing after all the weather and hurricanes and everything that's it's been through.'

During Fort Pike's active years of 1820 to 1890, it never saw live action in battle, but visitors say this is a rich piece of Louisiana history you just can't learn from a text book.

'These barracks that these guys stayed and actually lived in, and there's a bakery right there and commissary store right there and that's what they went into,' said O'Neal. 'That's where they lived. That's how they ate and stuff.'

The Louisiana Office of State Parks plans to continue to renovate and rebuild the old fort.

'It's nice to be open again, let the people come back out and view the history of Fort Pike,' said Schick.

Fort Pike is now open to the public 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday.

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