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Press Release

Alabama State Parks to House People Displaced by Hurricane Katrina

September 01, 2005

Governor Bob Riley and Conservation Commissioner Barnett Lawley announced today that Alabama’s state parks will house evacuees from Hurricane Katrina through the Federal Emergency Management Agency. FEMA is supplying trailers that will serve as long-term housing to evacuees who register by calling 1-800-621-FEMA.  Several hundred trailers are on their way to several state parks today, according to FEMA.

Alabama’s 22 state parks have a total of 2,500 campsites and more than 350 rooms in lodges, chalets and cabins across the state. Modern campsites have water and electrical hookups, and some have sewer hook-ups as well.

Commissioner Lawley said that the Conservation Department is more than happy to make the space available for FEMA to use. “If there’s anything that we can do to help out, we’re willing to do it, even if it means making every room available,” he said. Lawley said that some tourists who had reservations at state parks have already called to cancel them in anticipation of evacuees needing the rooms. “With the popularity of our parks during the fall season, that’s a small but extremely generous thing to do,” he said. “We hope that when this emergency situation is over that those who canceled will take the time to visit our parks once again.”

Lawley said he anticipates that the parks will host Alabamians as well as evacuees from Mississippi and Louisiana. “Alabama has had several large disaster situations, including Hurricane Ivan in 2004. We’ve depended on neighboring states to help us in the past, and now we’re going to do everything we can to assist the people who need help.”

The use of Alabama state parks for evacuees will be for an unknown period of time. Officials stress that evacuees must register with FEMA first to be assigned to one of the parks. The parks are not set up to handle people arriving without prior approval from FEMA.

Following is a list of state parks and the number of campsites, family units and rooms available.

 

Park

Modern Campsites

Family Cottage (Units)

Rooms

Buck’s Pocket

36

 

 

Cathedral Caverns

 

 

 

DeSoto

78

22

25

Joe Wheeler

116

26

75

Lake Guntersville

364

35

 

Monte Sano

89

14

 

Cheaha Resort

73

15

30

Lake Lurleen

91

 

 

Oak Mountain

150

10

 

Rickwood Caverns

13

 

 

Wind Creek

625

 

 

Blue Springs

50

 

 

Chewacla

36

6

 

Chickasaw

8

 

 

Florala

23

 

 

Frank Jackson

26

 

 

Lakepoint Resort

190

40

40

Paul M. Grist

6

 

 

Roland Cooper

47

5

 

Bladon Springs

10

 

 

Gulf

468

21

 

Meaher

12

 

 

Total

2,511

184

170

 

The Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources promotes wise stewardship, management and enjoyment of Alabama’s natural resources through five divisions: Marine Police, Marine Resources, State Parks, State Lands, and Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries.

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