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Sam Houston Jones State Park officials give update on park’s progress

Updated: Jun. 11, 2021 at 3:58 PM CDT
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Moss Bluff, LA (KPLC) - As your schedule your summer vacation plans, you may notice that Sam Houston State Park is still closed. The park received major storm damage to its facilities and trees, making it a safety concern for visitors.

Sam Houston State Park remains closed nearly nine months after Hurricanes Laura and Delta caused severe wind damage to the park’s facilities and forests.

There is a lot to be done before the park can safely welcome guests, but reopening all depends upon the weather and if it causes delays in the rebuilding process.

“Not only did we lose the forest, but we lost every building on that park,” deputy assistant Secretary Clifford Melius said. “In some way, every building was damaged by trees, or they uprooted utilities that came up with them. So, we have a lot of damage throughout the entire park, including the roads.”

The cleanup process has continued to pose challenges, taking three weeks just to clear roads within the park to assess damage. And the constant rain prevents loggers from clearing out the park.

“We need about a good week of dry weather, and it looks like it’s going to be coming up here pretty soon,” Melius said. “Then we are going to get them back in here, and we’ll be able to start logging the trees out. Once the trees are out and everything’s done, they’re about to start working on all the buildings.”

Progress is moving in the right direction. Melius said they are taking the opportunity to make the park better than before.

“We are going to have 10 brand-new cabins,” Melius said. “We had approximately 30 campsites before; we are going to try to go back to that. But one thing we are going to try to do, we are going to pour them back into concrete. We are going to be putting in sewage hookups at the campsites which is a huge deal. So, now we’ll have full hookups in the campgrounds.”

Park officials count on the park to reopen late fall to early winter.

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