Gulf Islands National Seashore officials closed Fort Pickens Area yesterday 8 p.m. to all public use due to the potential of tropical conditions to impact the park. A mandatory evacuation of the Fort Pickens Campground will begin at 9 a.m. Tuesday, June 20, 2017. The Okaloosa, Santa Rosa, and the Perdido Key Areas will remain open at this time, but their status may change with conditions.
When announcing this closure, Superintendent Daniel R. Brown said, “with tropical conditions possibly taking aim at the coast, we have to begin now in order to safeguard human life.” The National Park Service has to move visitors off the exposed barrier islands and close down all the island operations. “Right now, we have to close the park for the safety of our visitors and our employees”, Brown said.
Park status updates will be posted online at www.nps.gov/GulfIslands, www.Facebook.com/GulfIslandsNPS, and www.Twitter.com/GulfIslandsNPS. Gulf Islands National Seashore will reopen after the storm has passed and the staff has an opportunity to mitigate any hazards resulting from the storm.
We have two storms in the Gulf of Mexico that we need to follow: