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GSMNP reopens roads and facilities after Florence

Photo courtesy of Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Photo courtesy of Great Smoky Mountains National Park(WVLT)
Published: Sep. 17, 2018 at 11:37 AM EDT
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Great Smoky Mountains National Park officials began reopening roads and facilities at early Monday morning after closures due to the impending threat of the remnants of Hurricane Florence.

Park crews are continuing to clear fallen trees and limbs along roadways and assessing campgrounds and facilities for reopening.

All main thoroughfares and campgrounds are open as 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 Monday.

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.

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