State park, wildlife areas spared damage from storm

Published 11:57 am Tuesday, August 31, 2021

NATCHEZ — Natchez State Park, St. Catherine Creek National Wildlife Refuge and Sandy Creek Wildlife Management Area suffered minimal damage from Hurricane Ida.

Natchez State Park Manager Neil Hayes said the park had very little damage from Hurricane Ida. He said none of the buildings sustained any damage, and zero trees fell on any park roads. Additionally, roads to get to the state park are clear, he said.

“We were spared. Thank goodness,” Hayes said. “There were some trees down on the road (Tate and Whitcliff), but the county removed them Monday.”

Meanwhile, St. Catherine Creek National Wildlife Refuge closed the Sibley and Butler units Sunday and Monday because of the storm. Refuge manager Skye Kreisler said the roads were soggy Monday and had asked her staff to stay home for the day.

Tuesday, she was able to assess the damage at the Sibley and Butler units.

“Roads are swept, trees are cleared, and gates are reopened to Sibley (unit) and Butler Lake (unit),” Kreisler said.

Her afternoon was spent inspecting the damage to the Bayou Cocodrie Wildlife Refuge.

Sandy Creek WMA staff reported no structural damage to their offices and found just a few trees down on the main roads. They have not made a complete sweep of all of the trails at the WMA, but the area is open to visitors.