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Contact: BG Horvat, 252-728-2250 ext 3005
HARKERS ISLAND, NC – Based on current weather models, Cape Lookout National Seashore is at the western edge of the forecast cone that will experience the effects of Hurricane Maria. The National Park Service is monitoring any potential changes the storm may make as it continues to move north and will remain open to visitors through the week.
Even if the center of Maria remains offshore, impacts such as rough surf, a high risk for rip currents, beach erosion and ocean overwash are still probable. Winds 30 to 40 miles per hour with gusts of 40-50 miles per hour are possible. These winds may create small craft advisories to the area as early as Tuesday afternoon through Thursday. Due to these conditions, park staff and volunteers may not be able to travel to the islands. As a result of the pending weather and the uncertainty of Maria’s path, the park is strongly advising beach campers to make alternate plans.
Island Express Ferry Service, the park’s authorized passenger ferry concessioner, will cease operations out of Beaufort and Harkers Island, beginning at 2:00 PM on Sunday, until further notice. For more information on passenger ferry service to Shackleford and South Core Banks, call Island Express Ferry Service at (252) 728-7433, or check the web at: www.islandexpressferryservices.com.
Currently, all three of the vehicle ferries for the cabin camps plan to remain in operation. However, tropical storm force winds predicted for Tuesday through Thursday may force them to stop running until conditions improve. Contact your ferry operator if you have questions or concerns regarding reservations.
The National Park Service staff will be monitoring ongoing developments with Hurricane Maria and will post updates as needed on the park website at www.nps.gov/calo and via Facebook.