Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Few roads reopen in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park after winter storm

Most major roads such as the Newfound Gap Road - US 441 in the Great Smoky Mountains national park still remain closed due to snow and ice, but a few roads have been opened to traffic.

The Spur connecting Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge still remains open and now the Gatlinburg bypass is also open to drivers.

On the West end of the national park on the Tennessee side divers can now drive from Townsend to Cades Cove and around the 11 mile loop road as Laurel Creek Road between the Townsend Wye and the Cades Cove loop road as well as the Cades Cove Loop Road have just been reopened.

Tremont Road just west of the Wye off of Laurel Creek Road and the Western Foothills Parkway just outside Townsend has also opened.

As we learn of more roads that open in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park we will post updated reports.

Most roads closed in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park due to winter storm

Old man winter blew in hard and with high elevations in the Great Smoky Mountains National park measuring as mush as 17 inches of new snow accumulation the major roads in the national park are all closed including Newfound Gap Road (us 441) a major through road connecting Cherokee North Carolina and Gatlinburg Tennessee.

The following roads are closed due to snow and ice the Great Smoky Mountains National Park:

  • Newfound Gap Road (US 441) TN to NC
  • Foothills Parkway East in Cocke County Cosby / Newport area
  • Foothills Parkway West in Blount County west of Townsend
  • Gatlinburg Bypass in TN
  • Little River Road in TN
  • Laurel Creek Road in TN west of the Tremont Road Junction
  • Cades Cove Loop Road in TN
  • Greenbrier Road TN
  • Cataloochee Entrance Road NC
  • Old Route 284 (Big Creek to Cataloochee)

Even though there was a minor accident on the spur connecting Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg Tennessee as of now the road remains open. Driver who wish to use the Spur are cautioned that there are still slushy spots even though the road has been heavily salted and drivers should use extreme caution.

Best advice when there is accumulation on the roads is to only drive when absolutely necessary.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Many being sick in Knox County closes schools.

Knox County is now closing schools both Thursday and Friday due to that fact that more than 10% of the teachers in the system were out and there are not enough substitutes to make up the shortage.

Also canceled Thursday and Friday will be after school activities such as band practice and performances.

The following schools will also be closed Thursday and Friday: Claiborne County, Concord Christian, Monroe County and Union County.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Newfound Gap Road (US 441) in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park Has Reopened

Newfound Gap Road running through the Great Smoky Mountains National Park has just reopened even though there are still a few patches of ice an snow on the roads.

Drivers are urged to use caution and it is possible that Newfound Gap Road may be closed again.

Newfound Gap Road US 441 in the Great Smoky Mountains National park is closed

The Great Smoky Mountains 2 lane road which connects Gatlinburg Tennessee with Cherokee North Carolina Newfound Gap Road (US 441) running through the Great Smoky Mountains national park is now closed due to ice and snow.

This beautiful steep winding road cuts right through the heart of the Great Smoky Mountains national park and is often closed in the winter due to ice and snow as the higher elevations tend to freeze quickly and make the road unsafe for travel.

Today weather forecasts for the Smoky Mountains call for freezing weather in upper elevations but the park service may be able to scrape enough snow ice of Newfound Gap Road and drop enough sand to make it safe for travel shortly. The predicted warming trend should make Newfound Gap Road safe for travel this weekend but watch Your Smokies News for the latest updates on road and weather conditions.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Sparks Lane and Forge Creek Road in Cades Cove Remain Closed

Due to muddy conditions both Sparks Lane and Forge Creek Road remain closed in the Cades Cove area the of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

In the winter months 3 unimproved roads normally remain open in Cades Cove, Sparks Lane, Hyatt Lane and Forge Creek Road while the 2 roads that lead out of the national park Rich Mountain Road and Parsons Branch Road close for the winter.

Forge Creek Road can be found by the Cades Cove Visitor Center and takes visitors to one of the Gregory Bald trailheads, Parsons Branch Road and passes by one of the finest examples of transitional architecture: The Henry Whitehead Place.

Sparks Lane is the first bypass shortcut for drivers, bikers and hikers who take the 11 mile Cades Cove Loop Road. While Sparks Lane remains closed, if you do not wish to take the whole tour your first opportunity to exit the loop will be Hyatt Lane which remains open at this time.

Dues to today's damp weather Cades Cove and tonight's and tomorrows predicted participation, don't expect either road to be open shortly. Forge Creek Road has been closed for what seems like most of the winter season this year due to poor road conditions.

Sevier County Schools close tomorrow due to high rate of illness

Seems that more than just the staff of Your Smokies is feeling under the weather as Sevier County Schools are reporting an absentee rate of more than 15% today promoting closures for the remainder of the week of county school.

The closure adds 2 more days onto the student's winter break vacation which was already scheduled for this Friday and next Monday. The closures will also affect the Kodak Christian Academy.

Rest, drink plenty of fluids, wash your hands frequently and please try to stay away from others while you are sick.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Newfound Gap Road, US 441 is in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park now open

The Great Smoky Mountains national parks main road connecting Cherokee North Carolina with Gatlinburg Tennessee is open now that Fridays' rock slide has been cleaned up and official say the road is safe.

Unfortunately while a woman from Florida was taking a photographs of the rockslide on Friday, additional rock fell and stuck her causing her serious enough injuries to require surgery to her back and leg at the University of Tennessee Medical Center in Knoxville.

rock slide in The Great Smoky Mountains national park

After heavy rains or melt it is common to have rock and mud slides in the Smoky Mountains and drivers should always use extreme caution especially when vision is limited at night or due to fog.

Unfortunately the women who was injured did not realize that after slides are common and before approaching an area that just had a rock fall or when a tree has split or partially fallen and is hung up in other trees you should stay clear of the area unless told by a professional that it is safe to approach.

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Newfound Gap Road US 441 partial closure in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Newfound Gap Road in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park requires a cleanup and safety evaluation after a rock and mudslide triggered by melting ice and snow and heavy rains made the road unsafe for motorists.

The North Carolina side is closed up to Newfound Gap. Drivers can still use Newfound Gap Road from Gatlinburg Tennessee all the way up to the Newfound Gap parking area.

Updates will follow as information becomes available.

Friday, February 01, 2008

Flooding and downed trees in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park

The Great Smoky Mountains National Park was pounded by wind and rain last night leaving downed trees and branches on roads and trails, swollen rivers and streams and some flooding.

All major roads are still open in the park but some local roads in near the park in Tennessee still have downed power lines and trees making driving hazardous.

Flooding and downed trees in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Hikers in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park need to be cautious of slippery trails, washouts, trees and branches blocking trails and stream crossings that may now be hazardous due to high swift moving water.

Numerous power outages been reported in the areas including our office in Sevierville - but thanks to Blazer Construction of Sevierville our electrical service was restored within hours.