Friday, February 05, 2010

Pigeon Forge - Gatlinburg Spur Reopens as GSMNP Deals With More Weather Related Issues

Today a second major rock slide has occurred on the section of the Foothills Parkway between Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge which locals call "the Spur" closing to road to traffic for hours and creating snarls in Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge and Sevierville as motorists unfamiliar with the area attempted to navigate back roads in the pouring rain.

Pigeon Forge - Gatlinburg  Spur Reopens as GSMNP Deals with More Weather Related Issues

New barricades and detours have been set up so that traffic is now moving both northbound and southbound on the Spur and in some areas, southbound traffic is flowing in one lane on the northbound side.

The landslide was a major event dumping tons of rock and earth on the roadway and leaving and extremely unstable slope in its wake. Blalock construction is moving large equipment into the area which will include a crane that will be used to remove any of the unstable areas of the mountainside, which will later be removed from the road surface.

Cades Cove Loop has been closed for much of the day as the days strong winds caused a significant number of large trees and branches to fall on the roadway.

Upper Tremont road also sustained significant tree damage and a small rockslide along Little River Road undermined a tree that was in danger of falling onto the roadway prompting the park serviced to close the road between Metcalf Bottoms and the Townsend Wye.

Reports have also come in that there are a significant number of blow downs on Newfound Gap Road that has also been closed all day long.

If all of this mess is not enough for the Great Smoky Mountains national park to deal with, rivers, creeks and branches are now running very high and flooding can be expected in low lying areas.

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