“It’s a terrible thing to lose beauty. I guess we haven’t lost the beauty. The Lord put it like he wanted it. He just rearranged it.”
There probably isn’t anybody happier to see the sunshine and dry weather return than the folks at Grand Gulf State Park, which encases what’s left of the old Spanish era town of Grand Gulf. Because on the Mississippi River side of the road the water has been lapping all the way up to the pavement from the current flood.
And then back in the bluffs, three rounds of storms left downed trees all over the place. Park Executive Director Bud Ross and the President of the Grand Gulf Board of Commissioners, Jeff Roberts say what the park is up against more than they have the capabilities to handle.
Bud says he can’t remember it being in this shape.
“Not like this. Not with flood on one side and tornado on the other and not much in between,” said Bud.
Jeff says nature isn’t the only catastrophe to hit. They're also contending with two rounds of state budget cuts that have left them with only two outside workers and both of them are constantly cutting grass this time of year. There are NO funds for storm cleanup.
“With the budget cuts we’ve had, I just don’t know how we’re going to handle this without some help,” said Jeff.
And the scope of the damage is tremendous. I know I wouldn’t want to shinny up a tree toting a chainsaw. This kind of clean up is way above novice pay grade. J
“We have trees on buildings and we’re going to have to get special equipment in to take care of that without damaging buildings more,” observed Jeff.
“Walt, right now, we can go half way around the park and then we’ve got two huge trees down," said Bud. We don’t have the equipment to move them.”
“So we’re spread mighty thin down here,” added Jeff.
Help with the current situation is requested and will be accepted from any quarter. Grand Gulf is one of my favorite runaways; the history, the old cemetery, the old buildings, the hint of a ghost here and there. But now the storm damage. It’s time we pitch in to save history.
Grand Gulf State Park is just north of Port Gibson off of Highway 61. Helping pick up some sticks would be a great service project for a scout troop. And if you need some sawed logs, they are yours for the asking.
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