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Tornado Grazes Park, Causing Only Minor Damage

Cane River Creole National Historical Park

National Park News

When the storm passed through, park staff members were inside the Doctor’s House, an 1830’s building that is the current location of the onsite office, but were not aware of the imminent danger, as the weather alert radio went off after the tornado had passed. Fortunately, nobody was injured. Oakland Plantation’s 44 historic structures received minimal damage. There were areas where roofing was loosened and in some cases blown off and evidence of wind-borne water inside some buildings. Downed limbs are prevalent, and there are also a few downed trees. One archaeological site was exposed when winds uprooted a chinaberry tree near the park’s slave quarters. There are also several areas where the historic fence line has been damaged. The damage was comparatively minor, considering that some park neighbors had entire roofs blown off and huge barns demolished. Nearby Beau Fort Plantation, which is listed in the National Register of Historic Places, sustained roof damage from falling limbs. The extent of the damage at Beau Fort is not known at this time. The park remained closed for the rest of the day, but reopened to the public the following morning when power was restored to the site and conditions were deemed safe. Park headquarters in Natchitoches and the park’s Magnolia Plantation near Derry were not affected by the storm.


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