Park Reopens Roads and Facilities after Tropical Storm

On Monday, September 17, Great Smoky Mountains National Park officials began reopening roads and facilities at 6:00 am. Park crews continue to clear fallen trees and limbs along roadways and assessing campgrounds and facilities for reopening. At this time, all main thoroughfares and campgrounds are open and crews continue to work toward opening outlying areas. With the exception of Balsam Mountain Campground/Picnic Area/Road, Rich Mountain Road, and Round Bottom Road, all other roads and facilities are expected to open by noon today.

A Hazardous Weather Outlook remains in effect for western North Carolina today. Isolated to scattered thunderstorms are expected this afternoon and evening. Cloud to ground lightning, gusty winds, and brief heavy rainfall are the main threats. Hikers should expect downed trees and limbs along trails, especially at the higher elevations, as well as flooded stream crossings causing rivers and trails to become hazardous. There are currently no trail closures due to the tropical storm event, but trails have not been assessed.

On Sunday, September 16, the park experienced sustained winds across the ridges of the higher elevations of 26 mph and wind gusts over 50 mph. A total of 2.30 inches of rain at Mt. Leconte was received over the course of the two-day weather event.

The Spur and Bypass remained open throughout storm event. For more information about road conditions on main park roadways, please follow “SmokiesRoadsNPS” on Twitter or visit the park website at http://www.nps.gov/grsm/planyourvisit/temproadclose.htm