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Contact: Patrick Kenney, 252-728-2250, ext. 3014
Harkers Island, NC –Cape Lookout National Seashore continues efforts to close the park based on the potential threat of Hurricane Matthew. We are making this decision to ensure that we can effectively evacuate the islands in a safe manner and secure the park to protect federal property and ensure staff safety. The latest storm track shows a model forecast change that has increased uncertainty. The confidence in the forecast threat level for Eastern North Carolina is lower. The National Weather Service still urges continued caution and preparation for this storm, as we are still within the margin of error for the storm to pass very close to or over our coastal areas.
A small craft advisory remains in effect for the area, due to strong northeast winds and seas of 6 to 10 feet. Marine conditions will deteriorate rapidly moving into the weekend. As Matthew approaches, rip currents will increase to 'High' across the entire area.
Due to storm conditions, Cape Lookout National Seashore is continuing with a mandatory evacuation order for the park. Ferry services have been directed to not deliver vehicles until further notice. The vehicle ferries shall continue to remove visitors and vehicles from the islands. Island Express Ferry Service, the park passenger ferry concessionaire, will not be in service until favorable conditions return. The cabins will be closed effective Wednesday, October 5, 2016.
There was a cancellations error made in the Seashore's cabin reservations system. We are aware of the problem and working to remediate it as soon as possible. Reservations at Great Island and Long Point Cabin Camps are currently canceled for Wednesday night (10/5/16) through Monday night (10/10/16). Visitors with reservations should be monitoring the weather conditions. Reservations canceled due to weather will be issued a full refund at www.recreation.gov, or call (877) 444-6777.
According to Superintendent Pat Kenney, "Though this morning's weather model is now showing a more favorable path for us in Eastern North Carolina, we will continue to monitor the happenings of Matthew and work to ensure public safety." National Park Service staff will be following ongoing developments with Hurricane Matthew and will post updates as needed on the park website at www.nps.gov/calo and via Facebook and Twitter at twitter.com/CapeLookoutNPS.