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Preliminary planning efforts underway for Hurricane Florence

GATLINBURG, TN - Great Smoky Mountains National Park officials are closely monitoring the projected path of Hurricane Florence. The National Weather Service preliminary estimations suggest Hurricane Florence will make landfall as a major hurricane, Category 2 or higher, late Friday night into early Saturday morning near the North Carolina/South Carolina border.

hurricane florence preparations
Image by Jeaneane Payne

Great Smoky Mountains National Park could see the effects of Hurricane Florence as early as Saturday, September 15. By Sunday, tropical storm sustained winds of 60-70 mph with higher gusts could be experienced in the higher elevations of the park.

Weather conditions such as this typically cause flooding, landslides, road washouts, and numerous tree falls along roadways and trails. Though there is much uncertainty with the track of Florence, if she continues on her projected path, wide spread closures may be in effect as early as Friday, September 14, and may include facilities, campgrounds, backcountry campsites and/or roads to ensure the safety of our staff and visitors.

Park Service officials will be closely monitoring forecasts and weather conditions and will provide further information, if warranted, as the storm approaches. For up to date information about road conditions and park closures, please visit the park website at

Published September 13, 2018

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