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Fifteen State Parks To Close Due to Hurricane Ophelia Threat

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Michael F. Easley, Governor
William G. Ross, Jr., Secretary

Release Note: 
Charlie Peek
Release Date: 
Sunday, September 11, 2005

Fifteen State Parks To Close Due to Hurricane Ophelia Threat

RALEIGH -- Fifteen state parks, including all those east of Interstate 95, will close to all visitors late today under the threat of severe weather from Hurricane Ophelia, according to the NC Division of Parks and Recreation. (NOTICE: As of Wednesday, September 14, 13 state parks are now closed. Medoc Mountain and Raven Rock have reopened.)

Campgrounds in most of those parks were closed at 8 p.m. Sunday.

Current forecasts predict tropical storm and/or hurricane force winds at all of the state's coastal parks beginning early Tuesday and possibly lasting 24 hours or longer.

"Rangers at our parks on and near the coast began battening down Monday in anticipation of high winds," said Susan Tillotson, superintendent of state parks. "Because Hurricane Ophelia's path appears very uncertain, we are monitoring forecasts very closely. All of our state parks are on alert, and others further inland could close on short notice."

Tillotson added that people contemplating visits to any of the state parks in the next couple days should monitor the situation closely and, can call the park beforehand if they are uncertain about conditions. Closings are also posted on the parks system's website at .

The normal closing time for most of the coastal parks affected is 8 p.m. The parks that will close are: Medoc Mountain, Raven Rock, Carolina Beach, Cliffs of the Neuse, Fort Fisher State Recreation Area, Fort Macon, Goose Creek, Hammocks Beach, Jockey's Ridge, Jones Lakes, Lake Waccamaw, Lumber River, Merchants Millpond, Pettigrew and Singletary Lake.