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Contact: Brent Everitt, 850-934-2612
Gulf Breeze, Fla. – Initial damage assessments of Fort Pickens Road through Fort Pickens Area and Highway 399 through Santa Rosa Area have been completed following Hurricane Nate. These assessments have revealed a significant amount of sand and water remaining on both roadways, as well as substantial structural damage in places. Park crews estimate that it will take a week or more to clear the sand and allow waters to recede.
Once cleared, both roadways will need to be assessed by a structural engineer, who will evaluate the condition and integrity of the roadways. This evaluation will allow the park to develop a plan for repairing the roads and permitting visitors to return to the areas. Until this plan can be completed, no reopening dates will be announced.
The National Park Service closed all areas of the national seashore prior to Hurricane Nate making landfall along the Gulf Coast. The category one storm pushed significant winds and waves on to Santa Rosa Island. Several of the national seashore’s Florida and Mississippi areas remain closed as a result of the storms impact.
A full list of closures and impacts can be found at www.nps.gov/guis/learn/news.htm. Park status updates will be posted online at www.nps.gov/GulfIslands, www.Facebook.com/GulfIslandsNPS, and www.Twitter.com/GulfIslandsNPS.
About Gulf Islands National Seashore: Created in 1971, the national seashore stretches 160 miles along the northern coast of the Gulf of Mexico in Florida and Mississippi, and includes barrier islands, maritime forests, historic forts, bayous, and marine habitat. Visit us at www.nps.gov/guis, on Facebook www.facebook.com/GulfIslandsNPS, Twitter www.twitter.com/GulfIslandsNPS, Instagram www.Instagram.com/GulfIslandsNPS.
About the National Park Service: More than 20,000 National Park Service employees care for America's 417 national parks and work with communities across the nation to help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities. Visit us at www.nps.gov, on Facebook www.facebook.com/nationalparkservice and Twitter www.twitter.com/natlparkservice.