News Release

NPS Incident Management Team Hurricane Update for South Florida and the Atlantic Coast, Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Date: October 4, 2017
Contact: Murray Shoemaker, 435-260-2422
Contact: Sandy Snell-Dobert, 970-481-5835
Contact: Dana Soehn, 865-712-4928

Incident information

Photos of Hurricane Irma damage and response


Homestead, Fla.Biscayne National Park employees welcomed visitors back to the park today as they reopened Dante Fascell Visitor Center and the Convoy Point grounds. Visitors can also access popular park islands including Adams Key, Elliot Key, and Boca Chita. Visitors are reminded to be on the lookout for marine debris while exploring park waters.


More than 246 NPS employees from 89 national parks and offices across 35 states continue to support parks in South Florida and the Atlantic Coast to help them ready for reopening. Parks plan to open more areas throughout the week as stabilization work continues.


The public is reminded that several parks remain closed to all use, including motorists, cyclists and pedestrians, due to safety concerns during cleanup operations. As parks reopen, please be alert for water on roads, particularly during heavy rains. Debris may still wash onto roads and trails.


News from the field – October 4:

South Florida National Parks


Big Cypress National Preserve – CLOSED

  • The preserve remains closed to all visitor use and access is limited to land owners only.
  • The unpaved portion of the Loop Road remains closed due to downed trees.
  • Saw operations and debris removal continues.


Biscayne National Park –OPEN

  • Biscayne National Park reopened to the public today.


Everglades National Park – PARTIALLY OPEN

  • Sandbagging operations continue in Shark Valley as the water continues to rise in this area.
  • The Homestead visitor entrance is currently open to Paurotis Pond, 25 miles south of the main entrance.
  • Saw operations and mud removal continue in the Flamingo area.
  • Construction crews continue working on required-occupancy housing units, as well as cleaning up the campground and boat ramps in the Flamingo area.
  • Park boat operators continue marking underwater debris navigation hazards and displaced vessels.

Atlantic Coast National Parks


Cumberland Island National Seashore (Ga.) – PARTIALLY OPEN (Museum only)

  • The Cumberland Island Mainland Museum is open.
  • The arborist crew and saw crews have now cleared 80% of the main road.
  • Clearing operations are complete at Stafford Campground, Sea Camp Campground, and the Plum Orchard area.
  • Aside from the River Trail, no trails or camping areas within Wilderness have been cleared.
  • Repair continues at the Visitor Center.
  • Plans and permitting work is underway island and mainland docks.


Fort Matanzas National Monument (Fla.) – PARTIALLY OPEN

  • The Visitor Center area remains closed pending removal of hazard limbs and trees.
  • Beach and Island areas of the park are open to the public.
  • The fort will remain inaccessible to the public until repairs to ferry boats can be completed.


Fort Pulaski National Monument (Ga.) – PARTIALLY OPEN

  • The Visitor Center and Museum are currently open.
  • All other facilities in the park remain closed pending the replacement of the water tank.


Additional parks are closed along the Atlantic coast, but are handling closures with park staff. For updates on the status of all parks visit



Last updated: October 6, 2017

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