Hurricane Information Center
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Hurricane Sandy

Debris in water on Long Island, New York
Vegetation and debris in the water in the aftermath of storm Sandy at the Wertheim National Wildlife Refuge on Long Island, New York. Greg Thompson/USFWS

As nor’easter approaches, safety of refuge staff and visitors remains top priority

National wildlife refuges along the eastern seaboard are preparing for another round of rough weather as a nor’easter storm approaches this Wednesday. Although some refuges along the east coast have begun the road to recovery by clearing debris and downed trees, repairing trails and stabilizing structures in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, many will remain closed or partially closed to the public to protect visitors’ and staff safety through the upcoming coastal storm.

See an updated list of refuge closures
For information on FWS’ Hurricane Sandy response


Breach at Trustom Pond National Wildlife Reufge. Credit: Greg Thompson/USFWS

Rhode Island refuges bear impacts from superstorm

Aerial photographs show that areas of the Rhode Island National Wildlife Refuge Complex are overwashed with debris and have vegetation damage. Road fragments cover Sachuest Point Road along the entrance to Sachuest Point National Wildlife Refuge and the Kettle Pond visitor center. The beach at Trustom Pond National Wildlife Refuge was breached, and had not naturally done so in over a decade prior to Hurricane Sandy. 

Rhode Island photo album
All hurricane photos


Refuge staff and crews working to repair damage on Outer Island. Credit: Tylar Greene/USFWS

Beginning repairs on the Connecticut coast

Heavy rains and wind impacted the Outer Island Unit at Stewart B. McKinney National Wildlife Refuge in Connecticut. The sea wall, trails and the environmental education lab were damaged. Refuge staff and crews are working to clear debris, repair trails, stabilize structures and restore foundation that eroded during the storm. Damage was also inflicted on many other refuge units. Habitat that is vital to migratory birds such as herons,egrets, common terns and the endangered roseate tern was severely impacted at Falkner Island (Guilford), Chimon Island (Norwalk) and Calf Island (Greenwich). Also, visitor use facilities such as trails, wayside exhibit panels and observation platforms were heavily damaged at the Great Meadows (Stratford)  and at Sheffield Island (Norwalk).

Outer Island photo album
More photos of Stewart B. McKinney National Wildlife Refuge
All hurricane photos


Aerial view of Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge. USFWS photo.
Aerial view of Chincoteague refuge looking toward recreational beach area. USFWS photo.

Views of Sandy's reach from the air

A photographer is part of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service helicopter crew surveying the state of national wildlife refuges after the storm. The images that have been captured during the flights reveal the power of the storm's at refuges along the coast in Virginia, Delaware and New Jersey.

See more aerial photos



Sawyer team members at work at Target Rock National Wildlife Refuge, Long Island, N.Y., Todd Weston/USFWS.
Sawyer team members at work at Target Rock National Wildlife Refuge, Long Island, N.Y. Todd Weston/USFWS

Clearing downed trees to open roads and trails

After the storm, downed trees and limbs blocked roads and trails at national wildlife refuges up and down the coast. As part of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's response, a team of sawyers traveled to Long Island this week. These trained chainsaw handlers are on the ground removing trees and other debris that pose a hazard to public safety.

Another photo of the sawyer team



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List of field office closures

Map of FWS facilities in the reach of Hurricane Sandy


Northeast Region   
Covering states: CT, DE, ME, MD, MA, NH, NY, NJ, PA, RI, VT, VA, WV

Southeast Region        
Covering states: AL, AR, FL, GA, KY, LA, MS, NC, SC, TN and Puerto Rico

NOAA Hurricane Center Information

NASA Hurricane Sandy Information

Ready.gov - Prepare, Plan, Stay Informed


Last updated: May 7, 2013

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