Updates on Hurricane Ian

Sep 30, 2022

Our hearts are with the communities in Florida currently impacted by Hurricane Ian. NOAA launched a website with storm forecasts, maps, evacuation routes, shelter information, and more to help those stay informed and safe before, during, and after storm impacts.

Erica Seiden at NOAA provided the following updates on the hurricane impacts at Reserves:

October 7, 2022

Dear NERRS Family,
I’m relieved to say that the NERRs in the southeast were mostly unscathed by Hurricane Ian. There is cleanup happening from Rookery to South Carolina, but for the most part this is ‘minor’ and all staff are safe and accounted for. Flooding, broken boardwalks, some equipment damage..these are the minor things. 
While this is a great relief, not everyone in the community fared so well and as we know, our NERRS friends have friends and family in those communities. Some of their roads are tough as loss has been great, so just a reminder that regardless of the challenges we face (storms and pandemics and budget crises, oh my), there are some who walk through the flames unscathed and others that get burned and the toll to take care of the burned is just as high if sometimes not higher than any personal challenge we face. Please keep these communities in your thoughts and for our folks who are helping their community members walk through some difficult times. 
Be well, be safe, and see you in Seattle in two weeks!
Warm and healthy regards,

September 30, 2022

Dear NERRS Family,

Hurricane Ian has visited a few of our reserves and plans to visit a few more, but all in all folks are making it through. Everyone is safe and given the size of the storm, damage is relatively minimal. Fingers crossed for our SE reserves who will see Ian soon. It will take a while to get a full understanding of impact, but the most important thing is that all staff are ok. Thank you for keeping everyone in the storm’s path in your thoughts and we will provide an update next week.

At Jobos, all staff are fine. The building’s solar panels are working to some degree providing some power. They have lost a pier, some windows are damaged, and there is water in the visitor center.

At Rookery, all staff are fine. All major facilities,vessels and vehicles are fine. They saw some flooding in the storage buildings. Surge stopped just short of the door at the Learning Center and there is a significant layer of sediment in the parking lot. The waterline on floating dock piles was about 6 feet above normal.

At GTM, they are still experiencing some wind, and there’s another high tide expected. So far, everyone has reported as safe. Storm is still close by.

At Sapelo Island, things are secure and everyone is off the island. Last ferry off was 4:30 yesterday. No major impacts anticipated with the current storm track.

At ACE Basin, staff are teleworking. Vehicles and facilities have been prepared.

At North Inlet-Winyah Bay, facilities and vehicles have been prepared. Current forecast has landfall south of the county, so we are hopeful for few impacts.

Warm and healthy regards,

NERRA is proud to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Coastal Zone Management Act—the legislation that led to the creation of the National Estuarine Research Reserve System. Want more Reserve stories delivered to your inbox? Subscribe to our newsletter.

What We Work ForPrepared CommunitiesUpdates on Hurricane Ian