Sunday, September 27, 2009

Greenbrier section still closed but Cades Cove reopens as Great Smoky Mountains National park cleans up from flooding and storm damage

While the storm that drenched the Smoky Mountains was not packing much of a punch dropping from 2 to just less than 3 inches of rain in the past 24 hours in areas of the park, the saturated ground and rain swollen rivers could not handle any more and minor flooding was widespread in areas in and around the Great Smoky Mountains national park.

The Little Pigeon River created the most damage in the Great Smoky Mountains national park as it washed out an area of roadway along Greenbrier Road near the bridge to Ramsey Cascades where Middle Prong runs into the Little Pigeon River.

The video below shows the Little Pigeon River following over its bank and it effects were felt far downstream in the residential areas some of which had minor evacuations.

The Little River which flows out of Elkmont was rising quickly promoting an evacuation of the Elkmont Campgrounds in the Great Smoky Mountains national park and further downstream created problems for campgrounds outside the park and resident in Townsend and Walland. The Campground has been deemed safe and was just reopened.

In Cades Cove Sparks Lane which notoriously gets flooded was closed first followed by Hyatt Land and then the entire 11 miles of the Cades Cove Loop were closed as water stared building up in the back end. Cades Cove Loop has just reopened but Sparks Lane, Hyatt lane and Rich Mountain Road will remain closed until they dry out so that passing vehicles will not damage the road surface.

The Chimneys Picnic Area was also closed last night as rising waters from the Little Pigeon River started to flow over the banks.

Crews will be working today in the park surveying and cleaning what appears to be minor damage. Hikers should report any large downed trees or washout in back country but expect to have to climb over under or around obstructions in the trails for at least a few days.

Based upon the extent of the damage on Greenbrier Road reported to me by eyewitness yesterday don't expect Greenbrier to be open past the Ranger station for at least a day or 2. Hopefully while they have dump trucks in the area they will fix some of the preexisting immense holes in the road surface right now.

1 comment:

jason said...