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Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge Closed Due to Approach of Ophelia


September 12, 2005

Contacts: Bonnie Strawser, 252-473-1131 ext 230

"Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge, located on the north end of Hatteras Island on the Outer Banks of North Carolina is now closed to all recreational uses due preparedness activities for approaching Hurricane Ophelia," Refuge Manager Mike Bryant announced today. "The refuge will reopen after the hurricane has passed and the situation has been evaluated to be safe for public re-entry."

Bryant further explained, "We operate strictly under an approved Hurricane Preparedness Plan. The plan clearly defines what we do each step of the way, based on the category of the storm and the time and proximity of projected landfall. As of this morning, we're in 'Condition 3' of our Hurricane Preparedness Plan. Basically, that-means we can expect hurricane force winds in less than 72 hours. We will be securing the Pea Island facilities today -- boarding up buildings, securing potential missiles, moving equipment and vehicles to the Alligator River Ops Center, securing office equipment/supplies, etc. It's important that we prepare the refuge early, so we can provide our staff with plenty of time to take care of their personal needs- securing their own homes and planning for their families. And, with so many staff helping with Katrina relief, we have additional families here to prepare for Ophelia."

For specific questions or additional information, you may contact the refuge headquarters in Manteo at 252-473-1131.

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