Areas Now Open in Great Smoky Mountains National Park | Gatlinburg Parkway and River Road May Open by Wednesday, December 7, 2016

December 1, 2016 VISITOR ALERT – Some areas are now open, like Cades Cove Loop Road, in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Downtown Gatlinburg Parkway and River Road hope to be open back to the public by Wednesday, December 7, 2016. This visitor alert report comes from this morning’s press conference in Gatlinburg along with local reports and information from the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

areas-open-great-smoky-mountains-national-park

Thank you firefighters, rescue workers and policemen from all over who’ve helped the Smokies! (photo: National Forest Service)

The Oconaluftee Visitor Center near Cherokee, NC has re-opened; however, Sugarlands Visitor Center and Clingmans Dome remain closed due to wildfires and smoke. Highway 441, Little River Road, Cherokee Orchard Road, and Parsons Branch also remain closed.

For the latest information on what trails and areas are closed in the national park, visit Great Smoky Mountains National Park for the latest from the National Park Service. The threat of fire in the area is still extremely high despite recent rainfalls, all visitors and residents alike are asked to please exercise caution.

In Gatlinburg, from the post office, located on Highway 321 East, to city limits on the east side of  town is now open to the public. Even though city officials hope to have both the Gatlinburg Parkway (Highway 441) and River Road open to the public by Wednesday, December 7, the side streets will remain closed until deemed safe.

Many roads within Sevier County should be open by the weekend according to County Mayor, Larry Waters. Areas in the county that will not open are Wiley Oakley/North Chalet Village, Westgate Resort area, and Beech Branch/Walker Trail area.

Wildfire Search and Recovery Efforts Ongoing in Gatlinburg and Sevier County

Reports today increased the wildfire coverage to over 17,000 acres with the damage half in the National Park and half in Sevier County.

Officials stated that three people were rescued yesterday. Two people were rescued from an elevator in Westgate Resort and another rescued at a home on Ski Mountain. About 70% of the affected area still needs to be checked by rescue teams. The number of wildfire victims remains at seven with the number of injured people treated at LeConte Medical Center up to 53. The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) still cannot release the identities of victims. Approximately 240 people remained in the two area shelters overnight.

A Facebook Page, Chimney Tops 2 Fire has been set-up to act as a general clearinghouse for both residents and visitors seeking information on property. Officials are currently setting up a GIS mapping system so that home owners can check on their properties; there will be a link on the Facebook page to the map. The map will be updated on a regular basis.

The Sevier County Humane Society is working with animal control officers and others to check homes for pet owners whose pets are missing. If you have a missing pet, please visit the Humane Society’s Facebook Page and give a detailed description with your street address.

How You Can Donate To Smoky Mountains  Wildfire Relief Efforts

The amount of in-kind donations has been so overwhelming that officials have asked for a halt on all in-kind donations at this time. For those wishing to make donations, a donation clearinghouse of sorts has been set up at Rocky Top Sports World in Gatlinburg to help direct your donation to the appropriate agency; you may call them at 865-430-7384 or 866-586-4483.

The Dolly Parton Foundation has also stepped up to serve the community by organizing the My People Fund where each family in Sevier County who’s lost their home will receive $1,000 each month for six months to get back on their feet. Dolly Parton is asking her fans world-wide to donate and make this big dream come true for her beloved people in the Smoky Mountains.

Another press conference will be held at 4:00 p.m. today. We’ll keep you posted on the latest news at HeySmokies.com.

 

 

 

 

More Hey Smokies Features:

No thumbnail available
Smoky Mountain Cicadas...
Smoky Mountain Cicadas. What's all the buzz about? A rare natural history event is unfolding right now! This month through mid-July, bi[Read More >>]
Smoky Mountain Road Work Scheduled
Smoky Mountain Road Work Scheduled...
Smoky Mountain road closures set to snarl traffic. Smoky Mountain Road work Scheduled. Smoky Mountain road crews will close single north and[Read More >>]
Smoky Mountain Volunteer Opportunities
Smoky Mountain Volunteer Opportunities...
Smoky Mountain Volunteer Opportunities in May and June of 2021. Park staff are hosting several volunteer workdays on trails throughout the [Read More >>]
No thumbnail available
Abrams Falls Trail Rehabilitation Begins...
Abrams Falls Trail Rehabilitation Begins. National Park officials announced that a Trails Forever rehabilitation project in Cades Cove will[Read More >>]
Greenbrier Open To Public
Greenbrier Open To Public...
Greenbrier Open To Public. Great Smoky Mountains National Park rangers announced the Greenbrier area of GSMNP reopened to all pub[Read More >>]
Rainbow Falls Trail Closed for Bridge Replacement
Rainbow Falls Trail Closed for Bridge Replacement...
Rainbow Falls Trail Closed for Bridge Replacement.  Great Smoky Mountains National Park officials will temporarily close Rainbow Falls Trai[Read More >>]
Smoky Mountain Tamale Recipe
Smoky Mountain Tamale Recipe...
Smoky Mountain Tamale recipe. Homemade tamales are always a Smoky Mountain special event! Did you know that the Smoky Mountains are on the [Read More >>]
Great Smoky Mountain Synchronous Firefly Lottery
Great Smoky Mountain Synchronous Firefly Lottery...
Smoky Mountain synchronous firefly dates announced. Great Smoky Mountain Synchronous Firefly Lottery will begin Friday, April, 30 2021 at 10[Read More >>]
Smoky Mountain Interstate Wildlife Crossing
Smoky Mountain Interstate Wildlife Crossing...
The Pigeon River gorge interstate wildlife crossing will provide safe passage for bear, elk and their furry friends! Smoky Mountain Intersta[Read More >>]
Cades Cove Car Ban
Cades Cove Car Ban...
The Cades Cove car ban will allow walkers, runners and bikers an opportunity to enjoy the Cove without the congestion and noise of cars. Cad[Read More >>]
Great Smoky Mountains National Park Nudist Colony Bares All
Great Smoky Mountains National Park Nudist Colony Bares All...
Great Smoky Mountains National Park Nudist Colony Bares All. Great Smoky Mountain officials announce the grand opening of the new Cades Cov[Read More >>]
No thumbnail available
Smoky Mountain Earth Day Trash Pick Up...
Smoky Mountain Earth Day Trash Pick Up will be held on Earth Day, April 22, 2021. This year Earth day reminds us to take care of and apprec[Read More >>]
Smoky Mountain Bears
Smoky Mountain Bears...
Smoky Mountain Bears are the symbol of the Smokies and sighting one is always a special event! With the tourist season in full swing and a recor[Read More >>]
Whiteoak Sink Wildlflower Hike
Whiteoak Sink Wildlflower Hike...
Whiteoak Sinks wildflower hikes are one of a kind! Whiteoak Sink Wildlflower Hike. Great Smoky Mountains National Park officials announced t[Read More >>]
Smoky Mountain Travel Advisory
Smoky Mountain Travel Advisory...
Smoky Mountain Travel Advisory. Smoky Mountain travel advisory. Great Smoky Mountains National Park officials announced that tree crews will[Read More >>]
Cades Cove Closure Scheduled
Cades Cove Closure Scheduled...
Cades Cove scheduled to close for road maintenance. Cades Cove Closure Scheduled. Smoky Mountains National Park officials have announced the[Read More >>]
No thumbnail available
Remember When, Lost Smoky Mountain Attractions - Rebel Railroad and Goldrush Junction...
Dolly as the engineer on the historic #192 steam engine. Remember When, Lost Smoky Mountain Attractions - Rebel Railroad and Goldrush Juncti[Read More >>]
Alum Cave Trail Closes For Bridge Replacement
Alum Cave Trail Closes For Bridge Replacement...
Alum Cave Trail closes for bridge construction GSMNP officials will implement a temporary, weekday closure of Alum Cave Trail and its parkin[Read More >>]
Smoky Mountain Pileated Woodpeckers
Smoky Mountain Pileated Woodpeckers...
Smoky mountain pileated woodpeckers bring color and music to the mountains! Smoky Mountain Pileated Woodpeckers, America’s largest woodpecke[Read More >>]
Smoky Mountain Full Wolf Moon
Smoky Mountain Full Wolf Moon...
Smoky Mountain full wolf moon is on the rise! Smoky Mountain Full Wolf Moon. Full Wolf Moon to rise on January 28, 2021. Mother Nature is g[Read More >>]