Ft. Pickens area to close ahead of Marco and Laura

Posted on August 22, 2020 by Staff reports

Gulf Islands National Seashore announces Florida day use areas will close on Sunday, August 23, at 5:00 pm. A mandatory evacuation of the Fort Pickens campground will occur Monday August 24, with all campers expected to leave the area by 10:00 am, in anticipation of intense winds, rough seas, and heavy rain that will impact the these areas and are anticipated to cause flooding of roads and coastal areas associated with the named storms, Marco and Laura. Current predictions are for the park to be affected by the eastern sides of these storms, which typically include strong winds, tides, and flooding. Closed areas include the Fort Pickens Area, Perdido Key Area including Johnson Beach, Opal Beach Area, and Okaloosa Area.

These Florida areas will remain closed until further notice. The Fort Barrancas area remains closed due to closures of the NAS Pensacola. Superintendent Dan Brown said, “Our number one priority during extreme weather events is to provide for the safety of park visitors and staff, and in this case the most appropriate action is to close these areas.” Highway 399, J. Earle Bowden Way, and the Naval Live Oaks day use areas, will remain open until further notice.

Park staff will assess conditions once the weather passes and throughout the next few days and announce updates as appropriate.