GSMNP clearing trees, reopening multiple roads

GSMNP, Tenn. (WVLT) -- Officials with the Great Smoky Mountains National Park started clearing fallen trees and limbs Tuesday in efforts to assess reopening campgrounds and facilities previously closed in anticipation of Hurricane Irma.

Crews began checking roadways at 6 a.m. Tuesday. Multiple roads and facilities were reopened including: Sugarlands Visitor Center, Oconaluftee Visitor Center, Little River Road, Laurel Creek Road, Cades Cove Loop Road, Foothills Parkway West, Foothills Parkway East, Greenbrier, Cosby, and Tremont.

As the park remains under a National Weather Service Wind Advisory in Tennessee until 2 p.m. Tuesday, several campgrounds and park roads, including Newfound Gap Road, are still closed.

Park representatives told Local 8 News the park experienced winds across ridges of the higher elevations with sustained winds at Clingmans Dome of 33 mph and wind gusts up to 66 mph.

Currently, there are not any trail closures, but trails have not been assessed yet. Authorities said hikers should expect downed trees and limbs along trails.

GSMNP officials originally released information on road and facility closures in anticipation of Hurricane Irma beginning September 9.

More information about road conditions on main park roadways can be found by following SmokiesRoadsNPS on Twitter.