Well it is happening, all hell is breaking loose here in the Northeast. In anticipation for the weather Hurricane Irene is supposed to deposit on us, all hopes of getting out and doing something–even if it’s just a walk in the woods–will be prohibited as the White Mountain National Forest will be closed through Monday. On top of the National Forest closure the Appalachian Mountain Club (AMC) will also be closing huts in the following locations: Mohican Outdoor Center, Blairstown, NJ — Cardigan Lodge, Alexandria, NH, — Highland Lodge, Bretton Woods, NH, — Joe Dodge Lodge, Gorham, NH.
The following is a notice released earlier today:
Please note: the USFS is issuing a closure order for the White Mountain National Forest due to potentially dangerous conditions caused by Hurricane Irene as the storm passes through the area. The WMNF will close at 6 PM on Saturday, August 27th and will remain closed through Monday, August 29th.
All WMNF facilities will be CLOSED to the public including the trail system. This includes all backcountry shelters, which are being vacated.
The AMC will also close all eight White Mountain Huts, Joe Dodge Lodge, and Highland Lodge for this same period of time. The closings will continue through all of Sunday August 28th. The reopening of these facilities will depend on conditions following the storm.
Update 8/26/11, 11:32 a.m.: From the U.S. Forest Service:
Due to the threat of extreme weather associated with Hurricane Irene the White Mountain National Forest HAS BEEN CLOSED effective 6PM Saturday August 27, 2011 through midnight Monday August 29, 2011.
Current National Weather Service projections call for the weather event to reach New Hampshire on Sunday, August 28, 2011.
• This closure is to ensure public safety and effective emergency operations. The closure includes all trails, campgrounds, developed sites, huts, shelters, and ski areas.
• The storm event is expected to bring heavy rain and high winds which will make backcountry travel and camping extremely hazardous due to swollen streams, dangerous crossings, and potential flooding. Road systems will be vulnerable to wash outs and compromised road shoulders.
• High winds are predicted that will cause trees and limbs to blow down in campgrounds, along trail systems, and across roads.
• Ability to conduct Search and Rescue operations will not be possible Sunday during the height of the storm.
• Please dial 911 to report an emergency. Please report any storm damage to the Forest Service by calling (603) 536-6100. In case of a power outage, call (603) 536-3693.