Tour of Rockefeller National Wildlife Refuge after being hit by back-to-back major hurricanes

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CREOLE, La. (KLFY)- Rockefeller Wildlife Refuge has been closed due to damage from Hurricane Laura and then faced additional impact from Hurricane Delta. Officials say the refuge took in up to 20 feet of water, leaving all public areas including piers and boat docks unavailable to the public.

“A lot of this will be contract work. Hopefully, it gets done pretty quick,” said the wildlife refuge’s program manager Phillip Trosclair.

Rockefeller Wildlife Refuge officials say crews were still recovering the land from Hurricane Laura when Hurricane Delta made landfall.

Trosclair says Hurricane Delta didn’t cause that much damage, however, it did push back the recovery process.   
“Hopefully we can address a lot of the damages and make the necessary repairs and have the refuge ready to go so we can have the public back,” he said.

Trosclair says flooding from Hurricane Laura caused erosion leaving launches, piers and walkways in pieces.

He says there is still water covering some areas of the refuge and it will take about six weeks until it fully subsides. Once the water has receded, they can begin repairing the area.

Although both hurricanes severely damaged the refuge, Trosclair says there was success along the way.

He says crews have been working on the “Shoreline Protection Project” where rocks are placed along the shoreline to reduce the amount of land loss due to wave action.
He said it has taken the refuge a while to finish the shoreline protection project. Several years later, it’s finally complete and Hurricane Laura was the first to test out its stability.

 “Everybody was kind of worried about it because it’s a lot of money,’ Trosclair said. “How is it going to do with a hurricane? We pretty much figured it would stay pretty dormant because the water would be so much higher over the rocks. It really hasn’t been moved everything is in place.”

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