Volunteers take to Ft. McAllister for storm clean up, park could reopen Nov. 11th

BRYAN COUNTY, Ga (WSAV) – Coastal Georgia forts and parks remain closed still cleaning and making repairs from damage done by the recent hurricane. Volunteers will be at Skidaway Island State Park as well as at Fort McAllister through the weekend.

“When I first looked at it I said this is going to take four to five months to get it open,” says park manager Jason Carter.

The earthen fort still stands, but many of the grounds at fort McAllister look like a war zone.

“It is truly heartbreaking, this place will never in our lifetime look the way it did a month ago,” says park reenactor and Friends of Fort McAllister member Cecil Greenwell.

The park remains closed for the third weekend in a row since hurricane Matthew tore through the Georgia coast. This weekend, like previous ones, volunteers are out in force.

“There’s still a lot of work to be done to make it an environment that folks want to come down and enjoy. So we’re coming down to make sure those touches are finished and places can be opened up pretty soon,” says Georgia Conservancy Communications director Brian Foster.

Because of the help from the Georgia conservancy, corporate volunteers and the state parks service, that opening may be sooner that everyone thought.

“Right now we are shooting for tentatively November 11th and I see no reason why we should not meet that date,” Carter says.

That would mean the park was shut down for more than a month due to hurricane damage.

“This time of year really we stay full even through out the week so this is kind of our wheelhouse season so being shut down for the month of October is pretty rough.”

Work is expected to continue through the weekend and into next week around the camp the rec areas as well as on the fort itself.

“For the parks resources are strapped, if you enjoy this park, if you value the history that took place here you need to come out and help us out.”

Groups like Georgia Conservancy that focus to preserve and support the parks systems of Georgia will continue cleaning the parks throughout the month. They plan to move down to coast and host weekend clean ups on other parks such as Cumberland Island.

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