Repairs wrap up at Blakeley State Park after 2020 hurricane damage
SPANISH FORT, Ala. (WKRG) – Historic Blakeley State Park is filled with tall trees. They provide a shaded canvas, but when a strong storm tears through like Hurricane Sally did in September 2020, the trees quickly crumble.
“Of course Sally tore it all down, trees by the thousands,” park superintendent Mike Bunn said.
Bunn said the Category 2 storm devastated the park, but a month later, in October 2020, storm surge and high winds from Hurricane Zeta added to the mess.
“There’s not a part of this park that hasn’t been devastated in some way,” Bunn said. “We were really hammered. With 2,000 acres and forested most of it, it took us a long time to get to some of the facilities.
Two years later, it’s a very different scene. This week, the EO Wilson Parkway reopened after a lengthy reconstruction project. Nearly a quarter mile of the footbridge and pier were ripped out along the Tensaw River during the two storms, costing $100,000 with this repair alone.
“It just made a really nice solid boardwalk and we have a bigger fishing pier,” Bunn said. “We have two, but now we have a brand new bigger one.”
Blakeley State Park has felt the impact of dozens of tropical systems over the years, but thankfully all repairs have been completed since this month. Now the park can move forward.
A new kayak launch is open, new fencing is in place, and in November the park will unveil a new heritage trail, stretching from Blakeley Historic State Park in Spanish Fort 1.5 miles north to Cloverleaf Landing at Bay Minette.
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