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Interior Secretary commits to making repairs at Vicksburg National Military Park – video



Cemetery Road collapse in the Vicksburg National Military Park.

During a U.S. Senate committee meeting on Wednesday, U.S. Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith requested and received a personal commitment from Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt to undertake repairs to the storm-damaged Vicksburg National Military Park.

“I visited the park personally on Feb. 21 and was astonished by the magnitude of damage, and the way those graves have just slidden into piles of mud,” Hyde-Smith said.

“Will you commit to me that you will explore all available resources within your Department to address the damages at the Vicksburg National Military Park and Vicksburg National Cemetery as soon as possible?” she asked Bernhardt.

“Resources are focused on it,” he responded. “It’s obviously a very dynamic situation right now, but we are 100 percent there, and we will be there, and I will personally work on it.  We have a big interest in making this right, too.”

Hyde-Smith and Vicksburg Mayor George Flaggs Jr. focused attention on getting federal aid for the park for a few weeks, with Flaggs sending a letter directly to President Donald Trump. The park closed roughly 30% of its total roads in the northern section of the park on Feb. 12 due to erosion.

The National Park Service sent a team to the park on March 1 to begin the process of assessment and repairs.

Wednesday’s Senate Interior Appropriations Subcommittee hearing was the first of many to review budget requests for the 2021 fiscal year. Repairs to the Vicksburg National Military Park are expected to run to several million dollars.

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