Maryland, Virginia Prepare for Irene's Arrival
The Maryland Park Service will close most state park campgrounds and day-use areas in preparation for the arrival of Hurricane Irene, Bay Net reported.
The latest weather forecasts predict a significant impact to Assateague Island from Hurricane Irene. The campground at Assateague State Park will close at 11 a.m. today (Aug. 26) and will remain closed until the morning of Aug. 31, depending on the severity of damage caused by the storm. Campers must vacate the campground by 11 a.m. today, with all of their equipment and belongings.
The Assateague State Park day-use facility and the road onto the island (Route 611 prior to the Verrazano Bridge) will be closed to all visitors and traffic at 7 tonight and until further notice. State park campgrounds east of Washington County will be closed from tonight through Sunday night.
Campgrounds affected by this closure include: Pocomoke River, Janes Island, Tuckahoe and Martinak State Parks on the Eastern Shore. Also included are Cunningham Falls, Gambrill, Greenbrier, Patapsco Valley, Susquehanna, Elk Neck, Cedarville, Smallwood and Point Lookout State Parks.
Campers already in these campgrounds must vacate the campground by sunset tonight, with all of their equipment and belongings.
State Park day-use areas, including picnic shelters and all other park facilities, east of Washington County will be closed on Saturday and Sunday. Day-use areas affected by this closure include: Janes Island, Pocomoke River, Tuckahoe, Martinak and Wye Island State Parks on the Eastern Shore. Also included are Cunningham Falls, Gambrill, Greenbrier, Washington Monument, Gathland, Seneca Creek, Patapsco Valley, Soldiers Delight, Gunpowder Falls, North Point, Susquehanna, Rocks, Fair Hill, Elk Neck, Sandy Point, Rosaryville, Cedarville, Smallwood, Calvert Cliffs, Greenwell and Point Lookout State Parks.
Meanwhile, the Virginia Campground Association (VCA) has reached out to its members on the state's Eastern Shore, Tidewater, Hampton Roads, Williamsburg and others in the path of Irene.
VCA President Karl Littman and Executive Director David Gorin stated in an e-mail:
Just a quick note to let you know that your colleagues and friends at the Virginia Campground Association are thinking of you and hoping and praying for the best outcome of the coming hurricane. We are in your corner if you need any assistance following the event. Please be safe and take the call for action to assure your personal safety and that of your staff and guests seriously.
Following the hurricane, if you have a minute, please drop me an email and let us know how you are doing and if you need any assistance in any way from the association. We will keep the press and the industry advised of what you tell us. Your colleagues across the U.S. are keeping their fingers crossed. Coming on the heels of the recent earthquake, we needed a hurricane the week before Labor Day like we need the plague.
Good luck to all.