Safety First – Sandy’s a Blowin’ in

HURRICANE SANDY WARNING

Hurricane Sandy will have major impacts on the Appalachian National Scenic Trail particularly in the Mid-Atlantic and Southern New England states. If you had planned to hike this week, postpone your plans.  If you are hiking now, leave the Trail and seek shelter in a sound structure in town or at a hostel or (least preferred option) an A.T. shelter. Use extreme caution during and following the storm. Impacts from flooding and tree damage from high winds are likely to be extensive. Small stream crossings will become extremely hazardous with rainfall exceeding 12-inches in some locations. Emergency response may be delayed or nonexistent due to heavily taxed resources and access issues. Cell and electronic communications may not be available for an extended period. In some areas of the trail, users should be prepared for the potential of snow accumulation that could hinder foot travel and hasten the threat for hypothermia or frostbite. Hikers should always remember their obligations to potential rescuers, and stay safe and out of trouble. This is your responsibility!

Several areas that the Appalachian Trail passes through have been closed or have issued alerts. Pay attention to local agency closures and weather alerts for more information.  Known closures or alerts:

NH White Mountain National Forest http://www.fs.usda.gov/whitemountain

VT Green Mountain National Forest http://www.fs.usda.gov/alerts/greenmountain/alerts-notices/?aid=15249

New Jersey State Parks http://www.state.nj.us/dep/parksandforests/

New York State parks www.governor.ny.gov

NYDEC (state forests) http://nynjtc.org/content/catskill-trails-updates

Harpers Ferry National Historical Park: www.nps.gov/hafe

Shenandoah National Park www.nps.gov/dewa 

Please monitor National Weather Service for up-to-date forecasts and local conditions as well as agency websites for closures and advisories. Be prepared with extra food, water, batteries, clothing and find adequate shelter during the storm.

Special Note to A.T. Maintainers: Please standby for more detailed instructions from ATC, and do not venture into the woods until any damage has time to settle. Your regional directors will be in touch with plans for our damage assessments, working with local agency closures and permissions before venturing out.

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