New Hampshire State Parks to Close In Preparation for Hurricane Irene

Governor Lynch Urges All NH Citizens to Continue to Make Necessary Preparations for Major Weather Event This Weekend

CONCORD–(ENEWSPF)–August 26, 2011.  All New Hampshire State Parks and Historical Sites will close Saturday evening at 6 p.m. in preparation for the arrival of Hurricane Irene, which will begin impact the state with heavy rains and high winds Sunday morning.

Gov. John Lynch today convened state emergency management officials and agency heads to discuss New Hampshire’s preparations for the arrival of Hurricane Irene this weekend.

The Department of Resources and Economic Development is closing all of the State Parks – this includes all State Beaches on the Seacoast – and all Historical Sites, State Forests and Trails to ensure those utilizing the campgrounds and other state properties can leave before the storm’s full impact hits the state on Sunday. DRED plans to reopen the Parks and other properties on Tuesday morning. The reopening of the parks will be subject to any damage and debris removal needed in the aftermath of the storm.

The National Forest Service has informed the state that it will also close the White Mountain National Forest and all of its trails and campgrounds at 6 p.m. on Saturday.

The State is also urging all private campground owners to notify guests of the impending storm, and to warn them that this storm will likely bring high winds – including the possibility of hurricane force winds – and heavy rains, which could cause flash flooding, particularly in small streams and rivers.

“There is still some uncertainty as to the severity of the storm once it reaches New Hampshire, but what is clear is that our state will experience a significant weather event this weekend. We will experience high winds and heavy rains, which could lead to flooding, fallen trees and downed power lines,” Governor Lynch said. “It is important that all New Hampshire citizens and visitors monitor the situation closely and make necessary preparations.”

Governor Lynch and state officials are also closely coordinating with local emergency officials to ensure the state’s preparedness for the impending storm. The Governor has directed the state Emergency Operations Center to be opened, which will remain open through the duration of the storm.

State emergency management officials recommended the following hurricane precautions be taken by all New Hampshire residents and visitors:

  • The public should monitor weather information from the National Weather Service, radio and TV broadcasts and Internet sources for information regarding the severity of winds and rains produced by the storm.
  • Loose objects in your yard, such as toys and lawn furniture, should be secured.
  • As with all major natural events, ensure there is three days supply of water, non-perishable food and other supplies in your home.
  • Prepare for power outages by ensuring working flashlights and fresh batteries, and a battery-powered radio. If you have a generator, ensure that it is professionally installed and can be operated without causing a health hazard. Please report outages to your electric utility.
  • Prior to the storm’s arrival, make sure all storm drains and culverts are clear of debris.
  • Follow the direction of your local emergency officials.

In addition, the Department of Transportation urges motorists to exercise extreme caution as weather conditions change. Officials at DOT are urging residents to stay home if possible as conditions worsen and:

  • Do not try to cross a flooded roadway. Two feet of rapidly moving water can float a vehicle.
  • Stay away from any downed or damaged power and transmission wires and cables.
  • Heed any directions regarding road closures.

For more information regarding the approaching hurricane and what steps should be taken in advance of the storm, please go to www.readynh.nh.gov.

Source: governor.nh.gov