Planning after Irene

2011-08-31 23:10:59.000 – Ryan Knapp,  Weather Observer/Meteorologist

The sun sets on yet another day.

It’s been three days since Hurricane Irene impacted the east coast but it is still very much on everyone’s mind since driving around New England is like a giant maze with so many road closures due to washouts. Since today was shift change day for the two crews on the summits, it was dominate conversation piece for most of the morning. The upcoming crew talked about what routes they had to map out to get here while the down going shift was talking about what roads would allow them to return home. Even though roads and affected businesses around the region are slowly opening, there are still several that remain closed for days, weeks, or months to come; too many to list in a single comment. So, I thought I’d list some pointers/resources to turn to if you’re planning a New England get away this coming Labor Day weekend.

-First, call ahead or look online for all your planned activities. This means hotels/motels/B&B’s/etc you may be staying at as well as attractions you might be planning on visiting to ensure that they are open for business and to see if alternate routes might be needed to reach them.

-Next up, look up road conditions ahead of time. Don’t rely completely on GPS maps and units as they may be having you going down one of several routes that may be closed due to washout. If you are looking for what is open, you can check out VT’s road closure list or VT 511, NH 511, MA 511, and ME 511 or Google for road closures as there are several resources out there listing these currently.

-If your plans take you outdoors this weekend, keep an eye on the weather on our website or NWS higher summits page. Be aware that both sites only go out 36 hours and before your email us or them, be aware that we do not do personalized forecasts nor do we forecast outside this 36 hours window. So just keep checking back. But be aware, as of now, it is looking to be a wet weekend.

-Next, check on campgrounds and trail conditions. Some trails and campgrounds were damaged pretty heavily and remain closed. Places to check on these conditions are the White Mountain National Forest website and this list, the forum on Views from the Top, our forums, New England Trail Conditions page, NH State Parks page, or AMC’s backcountry and trail conditions page. If in doubt, you can stop by any ranger station or AMC visitor center (Pinkham or Highland Center) for additional, up to the minute information.

-And lastly, if you don’t have any reason to be in an area that is closed or cleaning up, stay behind the set barriers. If you’re not part of the clean-up and solution, you’re just adding to the problem by slowing traffic and other efforts down.

Bottom line, do your homework and plan ahead. While parts of the state are partially down, we are not out with plenty still to see and do this coming holiday weekend. The way to look at it is there is sign hanging over New Hampshire that reads “New Hampshire’s open for business but please excuse the mess during this time of reconstruction.”


Ryan Knapp,  Weather Observer/Meteorologist

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