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Rissers Beach Provincial Park partially reopens but the rest remains closed

The northern campground at Rissers Beach Provincial Park in Petite Rivière Bridge, N.S., reopened Friday, but the rest of the provincial park is closed for the season due to damage sustained by post-tropical storm Lee.

Campers rolled their trailers into North Rissers mid-afternoon Friday, and were happy to be back.

“We’ve been waiting since the hurricane to get back here. We’ve had three or four nights cancelled,” said Gary Apt, who usually camps along the ocean but that part of the park is still closed.

While North Rissers is back up and running, the ocean side and beach at the park are a much different story.

Storm surge put what’s known as Little Rissers under water and shifted sand up onto the parking lot and grass where there had been none before.

“That undermined a lot of our trees, knocked a bunch of trees, over, damaged other infrastructure,” said Rob Paddock, the area manager for Department of Natural Resources and Renewables.

Boardwalks and the beach were damaged. Some parts of the beach now drop off between 20 and 30 centimetres because of the shifting sand, Paddock noted. All week crews have been cutting and clearing trees, assessing the damage and working to get North Rissers reopened for the weekend.

Little Rissers, the day-use beach, and trails are closed for the rest of the season, which wraps Thanksgiving weekend. Reservations will be automatically cancelled and campers will receive refunds.

“I don’t have an ETA when it will open and I know that’s frustrating for folks but while we’re doing our cleanup, while we’re trying to get the park back up and running we do ask the public’s patience to give us some space,” said Paddock.

“Hopefully they can get it repaired soon. Next year anyway for sure,” said camper Wain Fraser.

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