Over the weekend, Cane River Creole National Historical Park staff worked to clean and stabilize the park grounds after Hurricane Laura caused minimal to moderate damage throughout the park last Thursday. Initial clean-up efforts included moving downed limbs and debris to a consolidated area and pumping water out from the wood screw press located at the Magnolia Plantation.
“Overall, there was very little damage to our facilities. Most of the clean-up, and where we will need additional support, lies in removing the large downed and remaining hazard trees,” said Cane River Creole National Historical Park Superintendent Carrie Mardorf. “Overall, we were incredibly lucky to have all of our historic buildings survive the storm relatively unscathed. Our hearts go out to our partners and neighbors in the community who weren’t so fortunate.”
The power remains out at both the Oakland and Magnolia Plantations but has been restored to the Headquarters and Curation facility. Clean-up activities may be hampered until power is restored and crews arrive with additional fuel.
Additional support is needed to assist with the significant amount of downed and hazard trees. The National Park Service Arborist Incident Response team is expected to arrive on Wednesday, August 2. The 5-person crew brings sawyers to cut up the larger downed trees and limbs, a chipper for the smaller limbs and branches, trucks for hauling waste, climbers and a bucket truck to better prune the damaged trees and prolong tree life. The team will also address the damage to the historic trees.
Power is still out.
Initial clean-up began using two park tractors to remove debris to a temporary, consolidated area near the Seed House. Efforts are limited due to minimal fuel for the equipment until power is restored to the fuel pumps.
The corn crib floor and wood logs are air drying before a tarp is placed on the roof prior to permanent repair.
Power is still out.
Water was pumped from the wood screw press foundation with a generator and bilge pump.
Downed trees blocking highway LA 119 were removed and vehicular access to the site was restored.
Power is restored.
The HVAC is working and has returned the collections facility back down to 72-73 F.
For safety and health concerns park staff is working limited hours during periods of hot and humid weather until power is fully restored.
Currently, the Cane River Creole National Historical Park remains closed to the public due to safety concerns during the stabilization operations. Updates will be provided on the park website and social media platforms.