Storms Close Large Part of Great Smoky
Earlier this month torrential downpours caused widespread impacts across southern Utah's national parks. Well, now high winds and heavy rains have created substantial problems in Great Smoky Mountains National Park, where the Tennessee side of the park likely will remain closed throughout today.
High winds, which peaked at 106 mph, knocked down trees across the park and forced the closures of several roads, including the Newfound Gap Road, the Little River Road from Sugarlands Visitor Center to the park's Townsend entrance, the Laurel Creek Road from the Townsend entrance to Cades Cove, and the Cherokee Orchard Road outside of Gatlinburg.
Trees also are down in the Cades Cove, Elkmont and Cosby campgrounds on the Tennessee side of the park, and park officials are advising campers in those campgrounds to leave. One camper, a 6-year-old boy, was injured when a tree fell on his family's camper in the Cades Cove Campground.
On the North Carolina side of the park, most park facilities and campgrounds are open.
Today's forecast calls for more high winds in the 50 mph-range and heavy rains.