Wilma Strikes U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service South Florida Refuges
- Damages Facilities
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 27, 2005
Tom MacKenzie, 404/679-7291
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced today that Hurricane Wilma’s wind,
rain and flooding damaged its buildings and knocked down trees across roads,
trails, fences and gates on national wildlife refuges (NWR) throughout south
Florida. Three days after the October 24 hurricane five refuges remain closed
for safety reasons due to flooding, blocked roads, or damaged facilities. All
other south Florida refuges, closed prior to the hurricane, have been re-opened.
All Service employees are safe and have been accounted for.
Initial Damage Summary:
Crocodile Lake NWR in north
Key Largo: – Open. Primary facilities
Florida Panther NWR in Naples – Closed.
Office is open. Trees are down at refuge, but they managed to miss every
car and building. Roof damage and possible content loss in intern house.
Hobe Sound NWR in West Palm
Beach – Closed. This station was operating
from temporary office trailers (post-Frances/Jeanne) and the trailers are
extensively damaged. No power. All power poles for about a mile are snapped
and are leaning into the refuge over buildings and quarters. No facilities
will be accessible until poles are replaced and power is available.
J.N. "Ding" Darling NWR in Sanibel – Closed.
There is roof damage to the Visitor Center and Admin Building. Other
primary facilities have minimal damage. No power.
Marshall Loxahatchee NWR in Boynton Beach – Closed. Eleven
buildings have roof damage. There is a need for chainsaw work on trails
and roads. Some employee’s homes sustained damage. No power.
Key Deer NWR in Big
Pine Key – Closed. There was severe
flooding in the Keys. The headquarters on Big Pine Key is still inundated
with water. The roof on a pole barn came down on top of two vehicles, and
another building has some water damage. At least one Fish and Wildlife
Service quarters on Big Pine Key is flooded. Employees’ homes have
sustained some damage and one personal vehicle was lost. Lower Keys out
of power, upper Keys have power.
Pelican Island NWR in Sebastian – Open
with some areas flooded. There was some wind damage and some trees were
downed. Structures damaged were already slated for repair due to previous
hurricanes. Dikes burst in an impoundment area already slated for repair
due to previous hurricanes. Most of Indian River County is out of power.
Services Office in
Vero Beach – Office building is undamaged
and has power.
For more information about
the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, visit our home page at http://www.fws.gov/southeast