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Contact: Pat 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. A Hurricane Warning is in place from Cape Lookout south. The remainder of the park is under a Tropical Strom Warning.
- Storm surge is anticipated to be moderate, potential for inundation of 3 to 6 feet above ground. There is an increased threat of moderate erosion and areas of over-wash on ocean side for the entire park.
- 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 8 to 15 inches with locally higher amounts possible.
- This could be the worst flooding seen in Eastern North Carolina since Hurricane Floyd! Many rivers could reach major flood levels. Travel is being 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.