As the Gulf Coast prepares for Tropical Storm Barry, Rangers at Huntsville State Park are still picking up the pieces after Hurricane Harvey rocked the park’s trails and campsites.

“We have just recently completed the replacement of wood floors in Raven Lodge which were destroyed after the storm, the high water levels were the most damaging part of it,” park superintendent Kody Waters said.

After receiving 30 inches of rain over three days during Hurricane Harvey, hundreds of volunteers flocked to the park to pick up the pieces on the miles of trails and hundreds of hours later, most of the trails have been reopened.

“The biggest continuing issue from Harvey is erosion from the rain,” Waters added. “The storm also heavily damaged a bridge in one of the remote parts of the park, where most of the damage remains.”

Tropical Storm Barry is expected to bring several inches of rain to parts of East Texas, with 45 mile per hour winds through Monday. At this time, the eye of the storm appears to bypass Texas, but that could change at any time.

“It appears that we will avoid the worst of this storm, but there are still precautions we are taking to ensure the safety of the community and the park,” Waters said. “Our officers are preparing to deploy if needed by gathering equipment, such as water, food, clothing, rain gear, swift water rescue gear.”

Officials with the park are ensuring that their emergency management plan is accurate and up to date. This is an annual measure at the park to ensure safety in the event of natural disasters.

“We recommend that the community continue to monitor this system and makes plans in the event this system forms and is tracking in our direction,” Waters added. “It is unlikely, but if we receive damage or feel it is not safe for visitors, we would close.” 

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