Connecticut Reopening Parks in Irene's Wake
After safety inspections and cleanups in Irene's wake, the state of Connecticut has started reopening its parks and campgrounds, but all state swimming areas remain closed as a precaution, said Dwayne Gardner, spokesman for the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP).
Campgrounds that have opened include the Austin Hawes Campground in Barkhamsted and those at Housatonic Meadows State Park in Cornwall and Sharon, Macedonia Brook State Park in Kent, Black Rock State Park in Thomaston and Lake Waramaug State Park in Kent, the Hartford Courant reported.
Twenty-three state parks also have reopened, including Dinosaur State Park in Rocky Hill, Hammonasset Beach State Park in Madison, Fort Trumbull State Park in New London and Bigelow Hollow State Park in Union.
Many state parks remained closed because of lack of power, DEEP Commissioner Daniel C. Esty said.
Gardner said the DEEP is concerned about water quality and high water levels at state beaches following the storm.
"Although we recognize that residents and visitors are anxious to return to our state recreation areas, our number one priority remains the safety of those enjoying state parks, beaches and campgrounds," Esty said. "DEEP staff are working diligently to inspect of all our properties and do the work necessary to reopen them to visitors."
Parks and campgrounds will continue to reopen on a case-by-case basis, the DEEP said.