St. Marys, Georgia (CNN) — Before Hurricane Irma ever made landfall at the waterfront town of St. Marys, Georgia, in September, local officials and US National Park Service employees did everything they could to batten down the hatches.
They activated their emergency response plans, working hard to board up mainland structures and the park service's historic structures and treasures 7 nautical miles away on Cumberland Island.
But no human effort could block the power of Irma.
After the hurricane departed, residents saw boats stacked on top of each other or tossed onto the mainland, flooded streets and debris scattered everywhere.
The park service's mainland dock -- where up to 300 passengers daily could catch the ferry to Cumberland Island, the main attraction of Cumberland Island National Seashore -- had been destroyed.
While some tattered parts remained, the accessible dock was at the bottom of the St. Marys River.
To read more about other national parks recovering from the 2017 hurricanes, click here.