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Contact: Patrick Kenney, 252-728-2250, ext. 3014
Harkers Island, NC – Cape Lookout National Seashore remains closed to the public based on the potential threat of Hurricane Matthew (in accordance with 36CFR 1.5). This decision is to ensure the safety and protection of the public, park staff, and facilities.
The latest National Weather Service (NWS) forecast indicates that Eastern North Carolina should be prepared for impacts from Hurricane Matthew. Below are key points from the latest NWS forecast:
- Higher winds are now forecast across portions of the area and a Tropical Storm Watch has been issued for our southern coastal waters. Should confidence increase and the current trend continue, tropical storm watches or warnings may be extended inland and further north with future updates.
- With the current track, timing of the strongest winds would likely be beginning late Saturday afternoon, peaking during the day on Sunday along the coast.
- The rainfall forecast has further increased to 6 to 12 inches with local amounts up to 15 inches. The combination of abnormally high coastal water levels, additional storm surge, and extremely heavy rainfall, will produce increased dangerous flood levels.
- This could be the worst flooding seen in Eastern North Carolina since Hurricane Floyd!
- Travel this weekend is highly discouraged!
- A small craft advisory remains in effect for the area. The marine forecast calls for seas through the event of 10 to 20 feet. Conditions on the waters will deteriorate rapidly as Matthew approaches. Boaters are urged to stay in port. There is a high threat of rip currents across the entire area, and very rough surf.
The park has worked with Recreation.gov to correct the reservation issues that occurred. Anyone with questions or concerns related to these reservations should contact Recreation.gov. Reservations at Great Island and Long Point Cabins are currently canceled through Sunday night (10/9/16). Reservations beyond Sunday night are on hold pending a decision on reopening the park. 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.
The National Park Service 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.