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White Mountain National Forest officials urge caution, campgrounds and some roads closed
CAMPTON - The White Mountain National Forest has swung the gates closed at a number of woods roads that traditionally have seen wind damage and closed campgrounds. It is also hoping all will heed warnings to stay out of the 800,000 acres until Wednesday.
Tiffany Benna, spokesman for the Forest Service, said even Appalachian Trail thorugh-hikers, traveling towards Maine at this time of year, should take a break and wait out the wind, expected to reach 80 miles per hour tonight and tomorrow from Hurricane Sandy.
"We don't take closing public land lightly," Benna said, noting the decision is to keep much of the forest open. This storm has more wind potential than water damage as seen from Irene, she said.
That storm did more than $10 million in damage to infrastructure and trails in the Whites and have closed some trails since last August. It saw up to six inches of rain in several hours where Hurricane Sandy is predicted to drop two to three inches in six hours. And the ground has been dry.
"No one should be out there in the next 24 hours," due to falling tree danger, said Benna.
Fish and Game reported no rescues under way as of 1 p.m.
Campgrounds now closed on the Whites for Monday night include Blackberry, Barns' Field, Osceola, Hancock and Tripoli and roads closed include Wild River, Sawyer River, Long Pond, Bog Dam Loop and the Glen Ellis Day Use facility is closed.
"We anticipate everything to be back open by Wednesday mornings," she said at 1:45 p.m.
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