Ranger, Visitors Trapped For A Time In Cades Cove

Maryville, Blount County (AP) -- Straight-line winds have caused some damage in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

A Ranger and a group of visitors were caught for about an hour Tuesday in Cades Cove when trees came down on the loop road. No one was hurt and a maintenance crew was able to clear the debris and allow the vehicles out of the Cove, which was then closed for the rest of the day.

The National Weather Service estimates winds were blowing up to 60 miles per hour.

Rangers also closed US 441 over the mountains between Gatlinburg, Tennessee, and Cherokee, North Carolina, because of ice and snow. That highway, called Newfound Gap Road in the park, remains closed Wednesday.

Rangers have also closed a section of Trillium Gap Trail above Gatlinburg because of big hemlock trees that fell, creating the possibility of rock or mudslides. That section, near Roaring Fork, will remain closed until spring.

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