UPDATE: Rescuers airlift 53 year-old hiker to safety

COSBY, Tenn. (WVLT) -- The park service said in a news release on Friday that Nathan Lipsom of Cambridge, Mass., was hiking on Low Gap Trail on Thursday when the storm hit around 4 p.m. A ranger discovered the injured hiker around 11:30 a.m. on Friday.

Due to the number of downed trees in the park that blocked trails, a helicopter from North Carolina airlifted him around 6:45 p.m. EDT Friday. He was sent to Mission Hospital in Asheville, N.C.

A National Weather Service crew confirmed that an EF-1 tornado hit the Cosby area on Thursday.

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A 53 year-old hiker was stranded for nearly a full day in the Smokies after storms rolled through East Tennessee Thursday afternoon. Authorities said the man was trapped when a tree fell on him.

Rescue teams have reached him and are trying to decide on the best route out of the mountains, whether its heading back toward Cosby or pushing through to North Carolina.

The storm that ripped through the area spurred tornado warnings in Cocke Co. and into North Carolina. The National Weather Service is still trying to determine if a tornado did touch down near Cosby.


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