Assateague Island suffers some damage from Hurricane Sandy
NANCY POWELL ¦ Staff Writer
Part of a parking area near the bayside picnic area at Assateague is severely damaged. (At right) The shack at Old Ferry Landing used by the park’s naturalists is moved off its pilings following Hurricane Sandy.(Nov. 9, 2012) Assateague Island National Seashore is open to visitors, but some areas of the park remain closed.
The park closed Sunday, Oct. 28, because of the hurricane, but the visitor center reopened Thursday, Nov. 1, and the park reopened Friday, Nov. 2, said Liz Davis, assistant chief of interpretation and education at the park.
“Repairs are under way,” Davis said Wednesday.
Roads needed to be cleared, debris hauled away and holes had to be filled, Davis said.
Some visitors, she said, “but not a whole lot” have been to the park since it reopened.
The cycling and pedestrian bridge leading to Assateague Island National Seashore is closed until further notice because of damage sustained during Hurricane Sandy, but the Verrazano Bridge is open.
The Maryland Department of Transportation checked out the bridge and deemed it safe for vehicular traffic. Bicyclists and pedestrians may not use the Verrazano Bridge. Portions of bike lanes on Assateague Island were also damaged and are closed because they are unsafe.
The Old Ferry Landing Road, Bayside Drive, and South Ocean Beach Parking lots are all closed until further notice due to continued high water, unsafe conditions and damaged infrastructure. The north beach parking area is open 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Also closed are all developed area and back country camping areas. Hunting in the national park is prohibited.
According to a press release issued by the national park, the over sand vehicle zone opened Monday, Nov. 5, and will be open 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. to Fox Hill Levels. Users must exit the area by 4 p.m.
The over sand vehicle zone at Assateague Island National Seashore has reopened, but all users must exit by 4 p.m. Its conditions will be assessed daily.The Assateague Island Visitor Center is open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The Virginia portion of Assateague Island, the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge, is open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. with limited access. Beach parking areas there were severely damaged and there is no access to the beach there at this time.
For updates or more information about Assateague Island National Seashore or the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge, visitwww.nps.gov/asis.