(Gainesville)- The Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forests is closing several low-lying recreation sites in the predicted path of Hurricane Florence beginning today, ( Friday, September 14). The sites will remain closed until Hurricane Florence passes and sites are safe for visitors. A Hazardous Weather Outlook has been issued for areas of the national forest.
Our highest priorities are visitor and employee safety. The Forest Service is advising campers to avoid the forest during hazardous weather for personal safety and to prevent further stress on emergency responders who may not be able to quickly respond to emergencies because of conditions that limit access or create safety hazards.
Low-lying areas are especially vulnerable to rapidly rising and swift water. These areas should be avoided during and after major storm events. Excessive rain and high winds have the potential to create high water, flash floods, falling trees, mudslides, and severe damage to roads. Our national forests are heavily wooded, remote and/or mountainous, making the potential for hazardous conditions significant. Trees falling or large limbs breaking off are common occurrences during storm events.
Temporarily Closed Sites:
(this list may change as conditions warrant, so check before visiting)
Blue Ridge Ranger District:
- Boggs Creek Recreation Area (Lumpkin County)
- Frank Gross Recreation Area (Fannin County)
- Toccoa River Sandy Bottoms Recreation Area (Fannin County)
Chattooga River Ranger District:
- Lake Rabun Beach Recreation Area(Rabun County)
- Lake Russell Recreation Area(Habersham County)
- Sarah’s Creek Campground– upper loop closed (Rabun County)
Oconee Ranger District:
- Dyar Pasture Recreation Area(Greene County)
- Oconee River Campground(Greene County)
- Remember, your safety is your responsibility. As always, please keep yourself, your loved-ones, and our responding personnel safe by making thoughtful decisions, staying aware of weather conditions, and heeding the advice of your local and state authorities.