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National Park begins reopening roads, facilities

GATLINBURG, TN — On Tuesday, September 12, Great Smoky Mountains National Park officials began reopening roads and facilities at 6:00 a.m. Park crews continue to clear fallen trees and limbs along roadways and assessing campgrounds and facilities for reopening. The park is still under a National Weather Service Wind Advisory in Tennessee until 2:00 p.m.

national park reopens
Cades Cove Loop Road is one of the roads Great Smoky Mountains National Park has reopened after closing many park facilities and roads following Hurricane Irma. Image by Jeaneane Payne.

Currently, the following roads and facilities have been reopened: Sugarlands Visitor Center, Oconaluftee Visitor Center, Little River Road, Laurel Creek Road, Cades Cove Loop Road, Foothills Parkway West, Foothills Parkway East, Greenbrier, Cosby, and Tremont. Several park roads, including Newfound Gap Road, remain closed at this time. Several campgrounds also remain closed at this time. Visitors are encouraged to visit the park website, to check on further reopenings.

Overnight, the park experienced winds across ridges of the higher elevations with sustained winds at Clingmans Dome of 33 mph and wind gusts up to 66 mph. To date, the park received 0.4 to 0.7 inches of rain. Stream gauges reported little rise in park streams except for Cataloochee Creek which rose over 1 foot overnight and has since stabilized. There are currently no trail closures due to the wind event, but trails have not been assessed. Hikers should expect downed trees and limbs along trails especially at the higher elevations.

The Spur and Bypass remained open throughout storm event. For more information about road conditions on main park roadways, please follow Twitter at SmokiesRoadsNPS or visit the park website at

Published September 12, 2017

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