Huguenot Park closed by hurricane damage

Visitors anxious for park to reopen after Hurricane Matthew

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – After the city of Jacksonville posted a note on its Facebook page saying Huguenot Park would be closed indefinitely because of storm damage from Hurricane Matthew, News4Jax decided to try to get a look at the damage on the beach.

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission officers took us out on a boat to survey the damage along the shore.

It appeared repairs were already underway, which could allow the park to reopen sooner rather than later.
“I didn't see a whole lot of damage, but there's definitely absolutely no power at the park right now,” FWC Officer Roland Green said.

JEA crews could be seen working to restore power. Some power poles were tilted, almost touching the water. Green admitted that could be dangerous.

“I believe they've secured the power to the lines, and now they're in to restore power, to reattach some of those power lines,” Green said.

Along the way, we also spotted a tree log in the water.

The dunes remained mostly intact, and the nature center was still standing strong, but the road leading to the entrance of the park is mangled and cracked in pieces.

Visitors said they're worried about the park remaining closed.

“I'm feeling very sad, because I come here every week to fish or swim with my family, but right now it's closed,” Juan Aeuiar said. “It said temporarily, but we don't know how long -- maybe one month, two months, three months.”

For now, officers said the park isn't ready for re-entry, and no official timetable has been given for clean-up.

“If I had to guess, I would say at least a week,” Green said. “They're going to need at least a week to clean it up and restore it back to normal.”

The park will re-open eventually, and people are ready for normalcy to return to Huguenot.