Lisa and Tim Atkins had a reservation to camp next month on the beach at Edisto Island State Park in South Carolina. They had to cancel. There’s nowhere left to camp.
According to a report by The Post and Courier, Hurricane Matthew pushed sand across the campground like it did the town next door, burying sites, grills, hook-ups and picnic tables while washing away much of the dune vegetation that gave the place panache. The couple, who regularly visit state park campgrounds, will have to wait until next year for this one, and likely until later in the year.
The popular state beach parks, as well as other public-owned beach destinations, still face expensive repairs while most of the rest of the coast has recovered from the October storm. While all of them except Hunting Island have at least partly reopened, access remains at least somewhat restricted to a few of the more popular destinations.
“I know the Live Oak campground is back open, and it is nice, too,” Atkins said about the secondary Edisto park site farther back in the woods. “But it’s nothing like the beach campground is. I just hope they can get it back close to how it was.”
The popular Edisto beachfront campground isn’t expected to reopen before September. Hunting Island, farther south toward Beaufort, took almost a direct smack from the storm. It’s not expected to fully reopen for another year, and even a partial reopening is months away.
A lot of the problem is simply not enough staff or immediate funding, and having to operate within a budget format. Both the S.C. Department of Parks, Recreation & Tourism and the S.C. Department of Natural Resources continue to compile information to set budget and funding priorities for repairs. The rest is debris — tons of it.
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