Flood cleanup underway at Niblett's Bluff Park - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Flood cleanup underway at Niblett's Bluff Park

It's less than a year since Niblett's Bluff Park was opened after major flooding in 2016.  Now the community finds the park with major flood damage from Hurricane Harvey. 

They are once again pulling together to clean and fix it up

Taking down soaked plywood, scraping up water damaged floor and removing soggy insulation.  That's just some of the dirty work going on here at the park on the banks of the Sabine River.

On this day volunteers came from the Calcasieu DA's office and sheriff's department which has brought inmate trustys.

District Attorney John DeRosier says their community foundation allows them to help out.

"After this flood, the board met and they were seriously considering just closing the park because it floods so much.   And we talked to them and said, 'Don't do that.  We have this foundation and all these volunteers and we're going to come over here and help you rehab it."

With the park so close to the river, some might think it better to give up on it. But park clerk and bookkeeper, Debbi McBride, says it's so much a part of the heart of the community.

"We're right on the banks of the Sabine River.  And we know flooding is an issue at times.  The river is gorgeous and we have a lot of weddings that take place in the big building for the reception and they have weddings out on the north side, out there close to the river.  We probably have 20 or 30 weddings a year out there."

She is so appreciative to those who've come to help put back what nature has torn apart.

"We didn't know what we were going to do. We didn't know if the park was going to open, not open.  Last year we flooded and last year we spent all of our money, over $700 thousand repairing the park," she said.

DeRosier says their efforts will ready the three pavilions here for rebuilding.

"We're finished now with two out of the three buildings.  We removed all of the sheetrock, the paneling, the insulation at least up to the four-foot level and that will enable someone to come back in and do the reconstruction rehabilitation part.  I visited with the executives from Delta Downs.  The general manager has agreed to help us rebuild these buildings to some degree after we finish rehabbing them," said DeRosier. 

DeRosier says about 60,000 people visit the park yearly--which he says shows it needs to stay. It's hoped the park will reopen in October.

Anyone who wishes to volunteer or donate to the foundation should call Patsy Dugas at the Calcasieu DA’s Office at 437-3400.

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