Flooding from Hurricane Irene has significantly damaged Batsto Village, a nationally recognized historic site in the Pinelands of Atlantic County, and state Department of Environmental Protection cannot say when it will reopen to the public.
Batsto, which dates back to 1766, is part of Wharton State Forest, one of nine state parks that sustained storm damaged last Saturday and Sunday. As of Friday 40 of the 42 state parks are either fully or partially open.
Larry Ragonese, a DEP spokesman, said flood water from the Batsto River, which flows past the village, and runoff flooded village structures but noted the Sawmill and the Gristmill sustained the worst damage. He was unable to provide more specific details.
Ragonese said high water initially kept DEP workers from reaching buildings closest to the river and that some artifacts, such as furniture, may have been damage. He said artifacts have been moved to dry storage elsewhere within Wharton State Forest where the village is located.