Gulf Islands National Seashore Bracing for Tropical Storm Claudette

With Tropical Storm Claudette scheduled to come ashore very early Monday morning, Gulf Islands National Seashore officials took pre-emptive steps by closing some areas of the seashore to the public on Sunday.

The storm, which is expected to wallop the Florida Panhandle with heavy rain and tides 3-5 feet above normal, prompted Gulf Islands Superintendent Jerry Eubanks to close all areas in the Florida District of the seashore, including: Fort Pickens, Santa Rosa (Opal Beach), Okaloosa, Perdido Key, Naval Live Oaks, and Fort Barrancas Areas at 4:00 p.m. Sunday. The J. Earle Bowden Road remained open.

When announcing this closure, Superintendent Eubanks said that with Tropical Storm Claudette predicted to impact the Florida District, the national seashore would evacuate all visitors, including campers and Night Owl pass holders and close down the Fort Pickens Road, and all facilities.

Gulf Islands National Seashore will reopen areas in the Florida District after the storm has passed and the staff has had an opportunity to mitigate any hazards caused by the severe weather.

Meanwhile, Tropical Storm