BEAUFORT, S.C. (WTOC) - Hunting Island is back open after being closed for three weeks due to flooding.
Hunting Island is back open after being closed for weeks due to flooding but the park ranger says they don’t have to limit capacity because the island’s beaches are so big everyone can socially distance
“But the decision at hunting Island was we have plenty of room to disperse,” said J.W. Weatherford, Hunting Island State Park Director.
After closing temporarily for COVID-19, opening back up, and closing back down, Hunting Island is currently allowing a third of its normal capacity.
“Typically can take almost 700 vehicles and now we are, 200 is the number. I think we probably opened up another 30 this morning. Just because we’ve dried out some parking spaces.”
Drying out is taking a while because the island received more than a foot of rain.
“We had this rain storm that eventually over the next three days dumped, actually ended up over 17 inches.”
“We were here camping in the puddles!”
Flooded roads caused risks not worth taking.
“So the downside of Hunting Island is when you go off the road in Hunting Island. You’re not on a road shoulder you are very close to driving into a swamp or marsh.”
The island plans to allow full capacity In just a few days.
“We’re getting close I hope by Monday or Tuesday we will have the park back open.”
While still allowing social distancing.
“I feel like you can social distancing really well because they don’t have many people here so it’s nice,” said Stephanie and Christina Sadowski, visitors.
“With 5 miles of beach there’s plenty of room if you’re just willing to walk a little bit.”
For now visitors and park rangers are just excited to get people back on the island.
“But this is still the best place I have ever camped and I camp. I’ve been camping since I was 19 years old.”