It slipped past me that Katrina might have affected Flamingo. She did more than that; the Park is currently closed beyond Mahogany Hammock, which is 20 miles north of Flamingo. The Lodge is not accepting reservations "until further notice". You can see pictures of the damage at:
From the NPS web site:
"Hurricane Katrina passed directly over the park, bringing significant winds and heavy rains. Several sections of the Park were affected by the storm. Crews are working to restore areas to public use. The Flamingo area of the Park is currently closed and a portion of the park's main entrance road. The Ernest Coe Visitor Center, at the main entrance, Shark Valley Visitor Center, near Miami, and the Gulf Coast Visitor Center at Everglades City are open. Check the News section of website."
And from the News section of the website:
Park Announces Additional Re-Openings After Storm
September 03, 2005
The main park entrance, west of Florida City, is open for limited access to park trails and attractions from 7 AM TO 7 PM. Approximately 20 miles of the main park road is open, and public use trails between the Ernest F. Coe Visitor Center and the Mahogany Hammock area are open for day use only at this time.
Flamingo remains closed to the public due to storm damage. The park is cautioning recreational boaters and fishermen of navigational hazards which include missing channel markers and damaged lighted navigational aids along the coast. Additional storm effects include erosion of shore lines, floating and submerged debris, and shifting of bottom sands.
Updated information on both parks may be obtained by calling 305/242-7700.
I'm sure they'll do their best to get the place up and running before the winter tourist season starts. But there are, of course, no guarantees. All we can say for sure at this point is that if Flamingo is open, there will be a flotilla.
If anyone has any updated info, please pass it along.