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Hurricane Sandy

Sections of wildlife drive washed away during storm. Donald Freiday/USFWS
View of a section of the wildlife drive after the storm. Donald Freiday/USFWS

Sections of wildlife drive washed away at E.B. Forsythe refuge

More than 250,000 people visit E.B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge in New Jersey every year. Many come for the spectacular birding opportunities along the refuge's eight-mile wildlife drive. Large sections of the drive washed away during Hurricane Sandy and it will remain closed indefinitely.

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U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service helicopter between survey flights. Greg Thompson/USFWS.
Serice helicopter between survey flights. Greg Thompson/USFWS

Flying the coast to assess storm damage

We need a bird's-eye view to determine the full effect of Sandy's storm surge and heavy rains on national wildlife refuges along the coast. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service pilots have flown over several refuges, including Chincoteague, Prime Hook and E.B. Forsythe. They will continue their aerial surveys over Long Island and the southern New England coast in the next few days.

More photos from the air and the ground



Service staff clearing trees at Ninigret National Wildlife Refuge in Rhode Island. USFWS photo.
Sawyers at work at Ninigret National Wildlife Refuge in Rhode Island. USFWS photo.

Clearing downed trees

To ensure public safety, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service crews are on the ground at national wildlife refuges throughout the region clearing trails and roads. A 17-person team of sawyers traveled from Maine and are hard at work at several of the nine refuges on Long Island.

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Flooding at Prime Hook Beach Road seen by airboat.
Flooding at Prime Hook Beach Road seen by airboat. USFWS photo.

Flooding from storm surge at Prime Hook National Wildlife Refuge

Like many low-lying areas along the coast, Prime Hook National Wildlife Refuge was flooded during Hurricane Sandy. Managers are now assessing the extent of the storm's effect on the ground.

More photos



Refuge employee surveys damages. Don Freiday/USFWS photo.
Surveying storm erosion at a refuge impoundment. Don Freiday/USFWS.

Assessing damages at New Jersey coastal refuge after Sandy’s sweep

E.B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge is located along the New Jersey coast, which was declared a disaster area following the storm. Personnel are on the ground determining the extent of damages and what repairs will be needed before areas of the refuge can be made safe for public access. The refuge’s wildlife drive, a birding destination, is impassable and will be closed indefinitely. 

More information on refuge conditions
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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

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Last updated: May 7, 2013

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