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Hunting Island State Park reopening delayed for a week

Hunting Island State Park (SC State Parks)

Plans to reopen a popular Lowcountry beach and state park are delayed a bit.

According to state park representatives, Hunting Island State Park will now open on Friday, June 2 instead of Memorial Day weekend because "storms dropped about seven inches of rain in less than 36 hours."

They said the rain caused flooding that makes the park unsafe for visitors.

“We are heartbroken over the turn of events this week,” 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 for next week.”

The park has been closed since October in the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew.

State officials say the access to both the northern and southern sections of the beach will reopen, along with the park’s visitor center, historic lighthouse complex and picnic areas.

The park’s campground and fishing pier are still being repaired, and officials say they will remain closed for at least a few more weeks, and possibly up to a few months.

When it opens on June 2, park officials recommend following a few tips for the best visit possible:

· 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.

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