Hunting Island State Park reopening delayed due to severe weather

Hunting Island State Park to reopen on May 26

HUNTING ISLAND STATE PARK,SC (WTOC) - (Update: May 25, 2017 at 4 p.m.):  The reopening of Hunting Island State Park in Beaufort County has been delayed until Friday, June 2.

Park officials say the storms this week have caused flooding in the park and have delayed their final phases of recovery following Hurricane Matthew.

The park was originally set to reopen this weekend for Memorial Day.

You may be able to get behind the Hunting Island State Park gates sooner than expected.

The Nature Center is the only thing open right now, but in exactly one week both the north and south beaches will reopen for hundreds of visitors that have been waiting seven months for this day.

Hurricane Matthew caused about $5 million in damage at Hunting Island State Park and strong tides eroded the dunes and destroyed parking areas. Prompting officials to close the park until further notice.

But crews have been working around the clock cutting trees, building facilities and starting the park store over from scratch.

More than 2,000 trees have been removed so far but that number is expected to grow. As for the campsites, those look a little different now too.

"So, the campground, that's being renovated right now. There's 100 sites back there. All that work is going on now, so restroom renovations and upgrade to utilities and things like that, we're hoping to have completed sometime between mid to late June," Daniel Gambrell said, a park manager at Hunting Island State Park.

The money generated here pays for operation costs at other parks throughout the state. Officials say they lost close to $3 million in revenue because of Hurricane Matthew.

Hunting Island State Park reopens May 26. The hours for North Beach and South Beach are 6 a.m. to 9 p.m.

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