On August 29, 2005, Hurricane Katrina, the most devastating storm in the history of the United States, came ashore. Winds of over 140 MPH and a tidal surge of nearly 30 feet completely leveled all of Buccaneer State Park's 15 buildings, waterpark and support facilities. The park has been under complete and varying stages of reconstruction over the last four years, and is being beautifully restored. Phases I and II of construction are complete, with Phase III scheduled to begin in early fall 2010. Located on the beach in Waveland, Buccaneer is in a natural setting of large moss-draped oaks, marshlands and the Gulf of Mexico. Use of this land was first recorded in history in the late 1700's when Jean Lafitte and his followers were active in smuggling and pirating along the coast. The French Buccaneer, Lafitte, inhabited the old Pirate House located a short distance from what is now the park. The park site, also known as Jackson's Ridge, was used as a base of military operations by Andrew Jackson during the Battle of New Orleans. Jackson later returned to this area and built a house on land that is now Buccaneer State Park.