N.C. (WVLT) -- The forest service announced closures in the Cherokee National Forest as the East Coast prepares for Hurricane Florence to land.
According to a release from Cherokee National Forest, the USDA Forest Service is closely monitoring the pace of the hurricane.
Officials determined that it was necessary to close all developed campgrounds and certain other areas in the Unaka and Watauga districts of the forest on Friday, September 14 at noon.
The sites will be evaluated for safety and health, the forest service said, and will be reopened as conditions allow following the hurricane's passage.
Cherokee National Forest Supervisor JaSal Morris said, “We are implementing this closure for public safety concerns. With the uncertainty of the extent of impacts from Hurricane Florence
we believe this closure is prudent and necessary. Depending on the path of Florence it may be necessary to close additional areas."
The closures include suspension of reservations, which will be refunded.
Watauga District closures:
Backbone Rock Campground
Backbone Rock Recreation Area Pavilions
Little Oak Campground
Jacob’s Creek Campground
Jacob’s Creek Day Use Area
Jacob’s Creek Shooting Range
Dennis Cove Campground
Shook Branch Day Use Area
Rat Branch Boat Ramp
Pond Mountain Shooting Range
Watauga Point Recreation Area
Little Milligan Boat Ramp
The Laurels Picnic Area Pavilions
Little Stoney Camping Area
Unaka District closures:
Bubbling Springs Shooting Range
Scioto Shooting Range
Paint Creek Corridor
For weather safety in the park, visit here.
For information about the park, go here.