Why it is going to take 2+ years after the historic flood to reopen Cypress Gardens

All week, we are taking a look at a number of areas that were severely impacted during last year’s flooding. Most of those places are back in business. 
That is not the case at Cypress Gardens. Much of the gardens property was under several feet of water for several days. 
Berkeley County Public Information Officer Michael Múle said, “It’s been a long year since the closing.”
After the flood, the park never reopened. The boat dock was destroyed, as was most buildings on the property.
Today, the swamp looks very different. Water has been drained, and plants are growing in what used to be black water swamp. 
A number of visitors and volunteers say they want to know why it will take at least two years after the flood to reopen. We asked Múle why is it going to take more than 2 years before reopening? “You know, this process is a long process. The FEMA protocols and procedures do take time, and we’re not going to skip the line because we are a government agency… It took nine months essentially to get the check from our insurance company.”
There will be improvements to the park, “We’ll include new pathways, access for a set of folks that can access them with strollers and wheelchairs.” Much of these paths will be paved.
We’re going to reprogram the alligator house so that it’s a more natural habitat, not only for the animals, but also because it’s a better visual.”
Múle says county council has approved a million dollars, another large chunk of cash will come from FEMA. “There are a number of bridges that we have to replace or remodel or fix.”
They are hoping to raise millions more from donations from businesses in the county. The county says when Cypress Gardens is back, it will be better than ever. “Cypress Gardens will become the top environmental learning center in the Lowcountry.”
Cypress Gardens is expected to reopen in spring or summer of 2018. 

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