If you had plans for a wilderness getaway this weekend, it might be time to reschedule.
Along the Eastern Seaboard and in states as far inland as Ohio, nearly 70 national park system units have been fully or partially closed due to Hurricane Sandy and it could be days before some of them fully recover.
In New York, park closures include National Parks of New York Harbor, the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, Gateway National Recreation Area and Fire Island National Seashore. Governor’s Island National Monument was also hard hit—one dock was swept away and many buildings are filled with two to three feet of water.
Farther south, along the coasts of Maryland and Virginia, Assateague Island (part of Assateague Island National Seashore) is still underwater and the park will be closed until at least Thursday. Walk-in campsites are damaged, parking lots are covered with sand and Virginia parking lots have significant damage.
And it's not just the parks along the ocean that have been affected. The New River Gorge National River in West Virginia is experiencing widespread power outages due to significant snow accumulation (18 to 24 inches) from the storm. And in Ohio's Cuyahoga Valley National Park, officials closed the Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail to assess possible damage from heavy rain and high winds.
Be sure to check the weather report and national park alerts before you head out. For a full list of park closures and precautions, see the National Park Service website.