The State Park Service delayed the reopening of Hunting Island State Park for at least one week after storms dropped about 7 inches of rain in less than 36 hours.
The park was scheduled to reopen over Memorial Day weekend.
However, not only did the rainfall abruptly suspend the final phases of recovery, it caused flooding that would make the park unsafe for visitors.
The new reopening date is Friday, June 2.
“We are heartbroken over the turn of events …,” said Duane Parrish, director of the South Carolina Department of Parks, Recreation & Tourism. “We were looking forward to welcoming the thousands of families who enjoy the park every spring and summer. But we’re going to do everything we reasonably can to get the park ready.”
Hunting Island was scheduled to reopen on Friday, May 26, after being closed for seven months following Hurricane Matthew. The park had planned to reopen both North and South beach areas, some trails and its freshwater lagoon.
When it opens on June 2, park officials still recommend following a few tips for an optimal visit:
• Car pool as much as possible, since the park lost about one-third of its parking spaces;
• Visit during weekdays;
• Visit during non-holidays;
• Visit in the early afternoon;
• Avoid restricted areas.
The admission fee for Hunting Island is $5 per person; $3 per child age 6-15 years old; free for children 5 years old and younger; and $3.25 for South Carolina senior citizens age 65 and older.