Frank Gross and Cooper Creek recreation areas closed ahead of Tropical Storm Sally

  • The News Observer
    The News Observer

The Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forests is closing several low-lying recreation sites in the predicted path of Tropical Storm Sally beginning today, Thursday, September 16, including the Frank Gross and Cooper Creek recreation areas.

The sites will remain closed until the storm passes and sites are safe for visitors.

"Our highest priorities are visitor and employee safety,” a press release from the forest service said. “The Forest Service is advising visitors to avoid the forest during hazardous weather for personal safety and to prevent further stress on emergency responders who may not be able to quickly respond to emergencies because of conditions that limit access or create safety hazards."

Low-lying areas should be avoided during and after storm events because they are vulnerable to rapidly rising and swift water. Excessive rain and high winds have the potential to create high water, flash floods, falling trees, mudslides and severe damage to roads. 

"Our national forests are heavily wooded, remote and mountainous, making the potential for hazardous conditions significant,” the press release said. "Trees falling or large limbs breaking off are common occurrences during storm events."