RALEIGH – Five coastal state parks have closed, and 14 additional state parks will close today in anticipation of the passage of Hurricane Irene, according to the N.C. Division of Parks and Recreation.
Parks at Jockey’s Ridge, Fort Macon, Carolina Beach, Fort Fisher and the Bear Island portion of Hammocks Beach closed Thursday or early Friday as conditions deteriorated or evacuations were ordered.
State parks near or east of Interstate 95 will close at 5 p.m. today. They are: Lumber River, Jones Lake, Lake Waccamaw, Pettigrew, Merchants Millpond, Goose Creek, Medoc Mountain, Raven Rock and the mainland portion of Hammocks Beach. Parks in central North Carolina that will close at 9 p.m. today, and which will be closed to all campers Friday and Saturday nights, are: Eno River, William B. Umstead, Weymouth Woods and the state recreation areas at Jordan, Falls and Kerr lakes. Visitors who have made reservations at these parks are being notified.
The affected state parks will remain closed to all visitors until at least Sunday morning. The decision to reopen state parks or individual campgrounds and facilities will be made on a case-by-case basis after rangers have evaluated damage and determined the safety of campgrounds, picnic areas, trails and other public areas.
Updates about park and facility closings are posted on the state parks system’s website at www.ncparks.gov and through its Twitter feed, NCparks.
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