Kisatchie National Forest Vandalism - KALB-TV News Channel 5 & CBS 2

Kisatchie National Forest Vandalism

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STUART LAKE - Thursday was another scorcher here in Cenla, so plenty of people tried to escape the heat by going to the lake. But visitors who went to Stuart Lake looking for relief, encountered a bit of a problem. News Channel Five's Nolan Crane shows us what happened.

Dolores Rainwater lives in Pollock and she says every time it gets too hot in her house she heads to Stuart Lake with her family and friends.

"I come out as often as I can to let the kids go swimming and everything," says Dolores Rainwater.

Thursday's hot temperatures brought families from all over Central Louisiana together for some fun under the sun. Thursday, was the Brady family's first time to visit Stuart Lake.

"It's roasting, it's hot and the children you know, they need exercise, they need to be outside. They don't need to be cooped up," says Joyce Brady.

But not everything at Stuart Lake is picture-perfect, over the past several weeks this recreational facility has been vandalized. Somebody did some major damage to the lake's public restrooms.

"They took an m-60 or an m-80 and put into the toilet and blew a big hole in the toilet and that renders that whole facility in that one room useless so we have to shut it down," says Shanna Ellis.

If it seems like just a harmless prank, you might be surprised to find out the cost of this kind of damage.

"For this bathroom we are looking at least probably 2 to 3 thousand dollars," says Shanna Ellis.

The punishment is no laughing matter, this is a federal crime.

You don't see it now, because the employees at the Kisatchie National Forest have been working hard, but in bathroom stalls and floors, they say somebody also sprayed graffiti.

"99 percent of our visitors love our sites and they respect our sites, they follow the rules but there is always that one percent that does not," says Shanna Ellis.

"It's a crying shame that they have to vandalize everything out here because then the families can't come out and enjoy there self," says Dolores Rainwater.

"It's just so wrong, I don't know why people just don't take care of stuff instead of just ruining all there stuff," says Joyce Brady.

Dolores says the destruction needs to end so families can continue to enjoy this kind of summer fun without the fear of troublemakers ruining it.

"They need to stop because I mean its ruining it for families that like to come out and enjoy themselves," says Dolores Rainwater.

The vandalism at Stuart Lake is a federal crime and there is currently an investigation underway to find those who may be responsible for the damage.


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