La. Park Cabins Remain Closed for 2013
The rental cabins at Fontainebleau State Park near Mandeville, La., that were heavily damaged during Hurricane Isaac last year will likely remain closed until the end of 2014.
Jacques Berry, communication director for Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne, estimates it will cost about $1.8 million to repair the 12 cabins that are situated on piers over Lake Pontchartrain along the 2,800-acre park’s southern border, the New Orleans Times-Picayune reported.
While there is no timetable for reopening the cabins, Berry said “since we haven’t received any of the money from FEMA, we’re saying that we hope to reopen the cabins in late 2014.”
Isaac caused extensive damage to Fontainebleau, Louisiana’s most-visited state park, drawing more than 300,000 people per year. The storm, which hit in late August, flooded the visitor’s center, tore up the park’s sandy beach and pushed water into the vacation cabins.
Most of the park reopened last fall, but the cabins were heavily damaged and remained shuttered.
“Every cabin has a variety of repair or replacement work required – HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning), docks, mold, cabin fixtures, roofs … you name it,” Berry said in an email sent Monday. The popular cabins are built on piers seven feet above the lake’s waters.
The cabins provide overnight accommodations for as many as eight people each and include a full kitchen, living room, dining area, bathroom and porch over the lake. The cabins were under construction when Hurricane Katrina hit in 2005, but did not sustain serious damage.
State officials estimated that Isaac caused around $3 million in damage to Fontainebleau and over $7 million in damage to state parks in Louisiana.
The park was created on the site of a former sugar plantation built in 1829 by Bernard de Marigny de Mandeville, who founded the city of Mandeville. It was built during the Great Depression by members of the Civilian Conservation Corps, a New Deal initiative focusing on preserving the nation’s natural resources. The park opened in 1942, with much of the work of the CCC — trails, buildings and picnic areas — still in place today.