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Tropical Storm Ernesto Prompts State Park Campground Closings

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

Release Note: 
Charlie Peek
Release Date: 
Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Tropical Storm Ernesto Prompts State Park Campground Closings

RALEIGH -- Campgrounds in 11 state parks in eastern and piedmont North Carolina have been closed, and some other park operations have been suspended in anticipation of heavy rainfall and high winds from Tropical Storm Ernesto, according to the N.C. Division of Parks and Recreation.

In addition, visitors to state recreation areas at Jordan, Falls and Kerr lakes are being warned that access to some swim beaches, boat ramps and campgrounds could be interrupted during the coming Labor Day weekend if lake levels rise abruptly in the wake of the storm.

Operations were suspended at the campgrounds at 3 p.m. today as well as ferry service to Bear Island at Hammocks Beach State Park and access to the four-wheel-drive beach at Fort Fisher State Recreation Area. The affected parks will remain open but could be closed on short notice if visitor safety is threatened.

"If there is no significant damage reported, the campgrounds could reopen as early as Friday afternoon. We will update our website ( ) on Friday. Visitors who are uncertain about Labor Day weekend plans should check or website or call the park before their visit," said Susan Tillotson, DPR chief of operations.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has alerted the state parks system that levels at Jordan, Falls and Kerr lakes could rise as much as 10 feet during the weekend. "A significant and sudden rise in lake levels could make conditions unsafe at boat ramps and swim beaches and would inundate parts of some campgrounds, so we'll monitor that situation very closely through the weekend," Tillotson said.

State parks where campgrounds are currently closed are: Carolina Beach (New Hanover County), Hammocks Beach, (Onslow County), Lake Waccamaw, (Columbus County), Lumber River (Robeson County), Jones Lake (Bladen County), Singletary Lake (Bladen County), Merchants Millpond (Gates County), Goose Creek (Beaufort County), Pettigrew (Washington and Tyrell counties), Medoc Mountain (Halifax County), and Cliffs of the Neuse (Wayne County).

In addition, transient boat slips at the marina at Carolina Beach State Park are closed.