NPS Incident Management Team Hurricane Update for South Florida and the Atlantic Coast, Thursday, October 5, 2017

Date: October 5, 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. – More than 216 NPS employees from 85 national parks and offices across 32 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 5:

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.
  • Park employees returned to work today in preparation for a partial reopening as soon as possible. Current high waters are complicating stabilization operations, visitor access, and reopening plans.
  • Saw operations and debris removal continues.

Everglades National Park – PARTIALLY OPEN

  • The Homestead visitor entrance is open to Paurotis Pond, 25 miles south of the main entrance.
  • Construction crews continue working on required-occupancy housing units, as well as cleaning up debris and mud from the campground and boat ramps in the Flamingo area.
  • Saw crews are removing high limbs from trees in the Flamingo campground.
  • Crews continue chickee (elevated camping platforms) stabilization along waterways.
  • Park boat operators continue marking underwater debris navigation hazards and displaced vessels in the Gulf Coast and Key Largo areas.
  • A crane is being used to insert a membrane filter at wastewater treatment plant.
  • Sandbagging operations continue in the Shark Valley area.

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 continue clearing the main road.
  • 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 final repair of the water system. The installation of the water tank was completed yesterday.


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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