Fort Pulaski reopens after Irma, overall storm damage costing millions

Severe weather damage on Fort Pulaski [courtesy of Fort Pulaski NPS]

SAVANNAH, Ga. – One month after Tropical Storm Irma caused major flooding and damage to Fort Pulaski and Cockspur Island, the National Monument is back open for business.

The official reopening took place on Saturday. Tropical Storm Irma forced the staff to close on September 7 ahead its arrival. After the storm passed, the fort faced major damage from flood and storm debris totally $750,000. Combined with Hurricane Matthew damage and ongoing damage and clean-up from a tornado in May, the total cost of clean-up totals $3 million, according to Chief of Interpretation for Fort Pulaski National Monument, Joe Cadoff.

Cadoff told News 3 the Fort is still operating only on a quarter of operations as it normally does, mainly due to the damage and repairs needed to the Visitors Center after the tornado ripped through part of the island.

As of Monday, the Fort reports there is a water shortage so patrons and visitors are encouraged to bring their own drinking water. Outdoor restrooms are available for public use.

Cadoff told News 3 he expects it could take months before staff achieves a “new normal” but there is a planned conversation with the National Park Service about altering infrastructure to help prevent severe flooding damage in the future.

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