Several Smokies roads, campgrounds reopen after storm
By Joel Davis | (email@example.com)
Great Smoky Mountains National Park continues to deal with damage from Thursday’s severe thunderstorms.
Several GSMNP roads and campgrounds have been reopened after the weather brought destruction and two deaths to the area.
Cades Cove Campground, Cades Cove Loop Road, Laurel Creek Road, the Little River Road between Elkmont and Metcalf Bottoms are open. Rich Mountain Road reopened Monday.
Parsons Branch Road, the access road to Abrams Creek Campground, the Little River Road between Metcalf Bottoms and the Townsend Y and the road leading to Tremont are still closed.
“We’ve got crews that are continuing to clear out the storm-damaged areas,” Park spokeswoman Molly Schroer said. “We are also starting to access backcountry trails. Initial reports indicate there is significant damage — possibly thousands of downed trees — especially in the western end of the Park.”
Power was restored in most of Blount Count and surrounding areas by Sunday. There had been reports of a handful of homes in Alcoa still without power, but there was no report available on their status Monday.
Bryan Daniels, Blount Partnership president and CEO, said, in a voice mail left with The Daily Times, that Townsend and the Park was bouncing back after the storm.
“We’re fortunate that our emergency personnel reacted as quickly as they did and helped many people that were in need, but Townsend is open for business,” he said. “The roadways are being cleared. We are starting to see the vacationers return back to the national park and continue to encourage people to do that.
“We have persevered through this storm that came through and would like to continue to encourage to see more travelers make Townsend and Cades Cove a destination for their summer vacation.”
Two people were killed inside the Park on Thursday from trees felled by the storm.