Gulf Breeze, Fla. – Gulf Islands National Seashore officials will closed all of areas of the national seashore including all Mississippi Islands, the Fort Pickens, Fort Barrancas, Naval Live Oaks, Santa Rosa, Okaloosa, and the Perdido Key Areas to all public use due to the approach of Tropical Storm Nate. All areas will close this evening, Thursday, October 5, at their regular time. All campers at the Fort Pickens & Davis Bayou Campgrounds must evacuate by 12:00 pm on Friday, October 6, 2017.
When announcing the closure, Superintendent Daniel R. Brown said, “with this tropical storm in the Gulf, and possibly of becoming a hurricane 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 officials will finalize the closure of all operations and offices as Tropical Storm Nate continues to approach. When necessary all offices close the park’s incident management team will monitor the storm from a safe location. 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.