With the storm nearing state and local officials are making decisions about closing public spaces like parks and campgrounds.
Six Washington State Parks campgrounds are closed or will be closed because of the stormy conditions expected through the weekend. Locally Pierce County Parks and Recreation, Metro Parks Tacoma and the Peninsula Metropolitan Park District are taking a wait and see approach.
“Current wind speeds in the weather forecasts are indicating the possibility for park closures on Thursday evening into Friday morning and Saturday into Sunday morning as wind speeds pick up,” said Pierce County Parks and Recreation director Tony Tipton in an email Thursday.
“If we experience heavy tree-related debris as a result of the wind speeds some park sites may remain closed into next week until conditions can be made safe for public use,” he wrote.
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Park sites with community buildings like the Sprinker Recreation Center will remain open through the weekend, assuming they have power, Tipton said. If power is lost the building will close until power is restored.
Metro Parks spokesman Hunter George said there are “no preemptive closures at this time,” but parks district staff is ready to respond to various sites around the district if closures are necessary.
The Metro Parks website home page and its Twitter and Facebook social media accounts will be updated with closures as they occur, George said.
On the Gig Harbor and Key peninsulas PenMet Parks has not plans yet to close its properties, but will reevaluate once the first round of storms hit Friday (Oct. 14), executive director Terry Lee said in an email.
In Thurston County all county parks will close Friday afternoon through Monday (Oct. 17) morning because of the expected severe weather conditions.
Here is the list of state park campground closures:
Birch Bay: South of Blaine. Now through Sunday.
Bogachiel: South of Forks. Now through Sunday, depending on conditions.
Deception Pass: On Fidalgo and Whidbey islands. The Cranberry Campground will be closed, while the Quarry Pond Campground will remain open.
Fort Flagler: Across the bay from Port Townsend. Some of the campgrounds near the water are being closed due to flooding. Park staff also are relocating campers in the forest loops.
Larrabee: South of Bellingham. Now through Sunday.
Moran: On Orcas Island. Closed Friday through Sunday.
People who had reservations for these campgrounds will be notified.
For an up-to-date list, go to parks.state.wa.us/alertcenter. You also can sign up to receive email alerts about specific state parks.
Staff writer Brynn Grimley contributed to this report.