Atlantic County parks finish storm clean-up; prepare for summer -

Atlantic County parks finish storm clean-up; prepare for summer

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We've heard about the rebuilding efforts along New Jersey beaches to get ready for the summer season, but what about attractions further inland?

Guests enjoying the weather at parks around Atlantic County are seeing few signs of damage from last year's Derecho and Hurricane Sandy.

And after months of removing downed trees and other debris, park officials say the campgrounds at Lake Lenape are ready for the season.

"We just want to let the public know we are ready for summer this year," said park superintendent Clayton Ingersoll.

 "Our facilities are all open, we worked all through last season's storms, keeping our patrons safe, cleaning our facilities and we're really in great shape."

Ingersoll says the parks worked in cooperation with County, State and Federal Government during the project and the safety of park visitors was the main focus during the clean- up effort.

Now with summer on the way and parks ready for business, park visitors like Tom Halpin Jr. are looking forward to the months ahead.

"I'm glad it's a nice day out," said Halpin.

"We're talking about camping. We're going to get our camping gear out and it's going to be real nice again."

Park officials say FEMA helped with the removal of some trees while other trees that came down in areas that caused no danger were left to become a part of the habitat.

"We get a little bit of damage every year but this year was really substantial. The Derecho really on the tree end and Sandy we had additional damage as well as the flooding damage," said Ingersoll.

With areas like the campgrounds and boardwalk in Estell Manor back in working order, visitors and officials are once again ready to enjoy the county's parks.

"I think they did a real great job, I expected a lot more damage," said Halpin

 "There's a lot of older trees out here and they look pretty good so far. It must have been something after the storm though."

"Folks across the area have been hit hard and folks are resilient and people are bouncing back," said Ingersoll.

"And Atlantic County did a great job of that."

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