Portions of the Gulf Islands National Seashore will once again shut down ahead of anticipated heavy rainfall and flooding, officials said Monday.
The seashore’s Fort Pickens Area on Santa Rosa Island will close to the public at 10:00 p.m. Monday. A mandatory evacuation of the Fort Pickens campground is already underway. The seashore’s Perdido Key Area east of the Johnson Beach parking lot will also close this evening.
Florida portions of the seashore have repeatedly closed due to weather in recent years as storms threaten to wash out roadways or cover them with sand. Officials said Monday that roads throughout the park are still heavily saturated from last week’s rain events, and the forecasted rain amounts will likely cause some roads to become impassable.
These areas will remain closed to all incoming traffic and use until further notice. Park staff will assess conditions throughout the week and announce updates as appropriate.
“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 and start the mandatory evacuation of the Fort Pickens Campground,” said Superintendent Dan Brown.
Visitors may call the Fort Pickens Road Hotline at 850-934-2656 to get updates about road conditions. Fort Barrancas and other park areas including all of the seashore’s Mississippi locations will remain open.