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Wednesday, September 13, 2017
Extensive Damage on Chattahoochee and Oconee National Forests
Forest Service crews responded to a landslide event on September 12, 2017, on Holly Creek Road on the Conasauga Ranger District of the Chattahoochee National Forest. Though it has been made passable, please use caution when travelling this route.
GAINESVILLE, GA -- There is extensive damage on the national forests as a result of high winds associated with Tropical Storm Irma. The list of known closures on the Chattahoochee and Oconee National Forests continues to expand as we assess the impacts. We will continue to post updates about hazards and closures on Facebook and twitter @ChattOconeeNF and on our website at Please check back often for the latest updates.

We are strongly encouraging folks to stay off roads, trails and backcountry areas of the Chattahoochee and Oconee National Forests and give crews time to do their work. Down and damaged trees are everywhere, and pose a serious, life-threatening risk to visitors. Along with many roads, most trails are blocked, and trees continue to fall. We have crews assisting trapped visitors, sawing out roads, and assessing damage. We need you to keep yourself and our personnel safe by making smart choices and avoiding the national forest at this time.

Known Recreation Area and Office Closures as of 9/12 4:30pm

Blue Ridge Ranger District:
- Boggs Creek Recreation Area (Lumpkin)
- Brasstown Bald Visitor Center (Towns)
- DeSoto Falls Recreation Area (Lumpkin/White)
- Dockery Lake Recreation Area (Lumpkin)
- Foothills Community Conversation cancelled (Lumpkin)
- Lake Winfield Scott Recreation Area (Union)

Chattooga River Ranger District:
- Anna Ruby Falls Recreation Area (White)
- Andrews Cove Campground (White)
- Chattooga River Ranger District Office
- Lake Russell Recreation Area (Habersham)
- Low Gap Campground (White)
- Lake Rabun Beach Recreation Area (Rabun)
- Tallulah River Campground (Rabun)
- Tate Branch Campground (Rabun)
- Willis Knob Recreation Area (Rabun)
- Overflow Campground (Rabun)

Oconee Ranger District:
- Dyar Pasture Recreation Area (Greene)
- Lake Sinclair Campground and Recreation Area (Putnam)
- Oconee River Campground (Greene)
- Oconee Ranger District Office (Putnam)

A reminder that national forest OHV trails close when conditions are wet to prevent trail damage and erosion into streams. Always call before you haul (or check our website).

Many roads on the national forests are blocked. Most roads on the Chattooga River Ranger District are blocked by fallen trees and down powerlines, including Tallullah River Road, Poplar Stump Road, Warwoman Road, and access through Sandy Ford Road, among many others. On the Blue Ridge Ranger District, many roads, especially along ridgetops, are also blocked. Highway 180, FSR 42 Cooper Gap Road, Dicks Creek Road and Montgomery Creek are among the blocked routes. Sawyers have opened Mulkey Gap Road. On the Oconee Ranger District, FSR 1075, 1020 and 1023 are all blocked, and assessments are just beginning. It appears that most main roads on the Conasauga Ranger District are clear, however please use extreme caution along Holly Creek Road where there is a landslide. We are working hard to assess road conditions and saw-out as we are able. Once all assessments are completed, we will post a comprehensive list and map of the road situation. Please be patient as it may take weeks to completely reopen parts of the forest.

Find the most current list of site closures on Facebook at Our Forest Service webpage updates may sometimes be delayed.

Stay safe! We are thinking of you during this time, and appreciate your understanding.

The Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forests provide the finest outdoor recreation opportunities and natural resources in Georgia. Featuring nearly 867,000 acres across 26 counties, thousands of miles of clear-running streams and rivers, approximately 850 miles of recreation trails, and dozens of campgrounds, picnic areas, and other recreation activity opportunities, these lands are rich in natural scenery, history and culture. The mission of the USDA Forest Service is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of the nation's forests and grasslands to meet the needs of present and future generations.

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