Repair work slow at Buccaneer State Park

By Al Showers - bio | email

WAVELAND, MS (WLOX) - The campground at Buccaneer State Park used to be full with Fall visitors each October. That was before Katrina.

"Buccaneer has always been a huge part of the economy here, so we're anxious to get it back open," Park Manager Stu Rayburn said.

Work to repair and reopen the park is underway, but progress has been slow.

"It's taken so long because of the catastrophic nature of what happen. The park was completely destroyed. So not only are we rebuilding it from the ground up, we're actually going below ground starting with our infrastructure."

Phase one of the infrastructure work started about five months ago and is now 60 percent complete.

"That includes the water, the sewer, the power, the restoration of those facilities. Of course, Gustav set us back a little bit, but were picking it back up."

Rayburn expects to see buildings going up in December.

"Before Katrina, we had 15 structures on the park. The first phase will be to put back eight of those buildings. Those buildings would include our bath houses spread out throughout the park, our maintenance complex, office, gate house. That will get us one step closer to getting us back whole again," Rayburn said.

The return of the water park could take up to two years. The popular wave pool and water slide will be the final amenities restored.

"We're in that stage right now, sort of putting it back together right now and evaluating what needs to be done in there."

Park leaders say they plan to reopen their campground as soon as possible.