NPS Incident Management Team Hurricane Update for South Florida and the Atlantic Coast, Friday, October 6, 2017

Date: October 6, 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 224 NPS employees from 90 national parks and offices across 36 states continue to support the parks in South Florida and the Atlantic Coast. The National Park Service recognizes that tourism is a major contributor to the economies of local communities and is striving to get the parks to a stabilized condition so they can be safely reopened as quickly as possible.  


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 6:

South Florida National Parks

Big Cypress National Preserve – PARTIALLY OPEN

  • Big Cypress National Preserve’s Oasis Visitor Center reopened today from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. beginning tomorrow, the center will resume regular operating hours of 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
  • Midway, Monument, and Burns Lake Campgrounds reopened today.
  • Although much of the preserve will reopened today, some areas will remain closed.
  • The Swamp Welcome Center remains closed at this time.
  • The Stairsteps Unit of Big Cypress National Preserve remains closed to all recreational access, including hunting, until water levels go down.
  • Visitors to the preserve should expect conditions to include high water levels, downed trees, and ongoing restoration efforts. Recreational users should be prepared to turn around.
  • Landowners may continue to access private property and should expect downed trees along trails.

Everglades National Park – PARTIALLY OPEN

  • The Homestead visitor entrance is currently open to Paurotis Pond, 25 miles south of the main entrance. The road is expected to open all the way to Flamingo tomorrow. Night closures will remain in place. The roadway will be open from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
  • Utility crews continue to stabilize water treatment facilities in Pine Island and Flamingo.
  • Construction crews continue to stabilize facilities in Flamingo.  
  • Saw crews are removing damaged limbs and trees from park residence areas and the marina parking lot.
  • Park boat operators continue marking underwater debris navigation hazards and displaced vessels in park waters.
  • Shark Valley remains closed due to high water and the area will be monitored for future mitigations if needed to protect infrastructure.

Atlantic Coast National Parks

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

  • The Cumberland Island Mainland Museum is open.
  • Clearing operations by the arborist crew and saw crew are expected to be complete this weekend.


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.


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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