Two elementary schools were directly impacted by a massive tornado in the Oklahoma City area on Monday. It brings to mind a storm from a 1996 tornado which destroyed the Allardt Elementary School in Fentress County.More >>
Two elementary schools were directly impacted by a massive tornado in the Oklahoma City area on Monday. It brings to mind a storm from a 1996 tornado which destroyed the Allardt Elementary School in Fentress County. More >>
GATLINBURG (WATE) - With fall officially here, so are tourists looking for fall colors in the Smokies.
On the Aerial Tramway at Ober Gatlinburg, the view includes some early colors. The tram was busy Tuesday with tourists like Ken Palmer and his wife, who are visiting from St. Louis, Missouri.
They were taking pictures of the view. "The fall colors are just starting, still early, still beautiful," Ken Palmer said.
Already you can see some yellow in the trees, but the reds are perhaps the most noticeable colors so far.
Last year was a bit of a disappointment for tourists looking for fall colors. A dry summer followed by a storm in September stripped a lot of trees of their leaves, making it a really short season.
"I think a lot of people were disappointed," said Kent Anders, with Ober Gatlinburg.
Area businesses suffered as a result of the short season. However, Jim Davis, with the Gatlinburg Convention and Visitor Bureau, expects a very different story this year.
"We're expecting a great season this year. The leaves are starting to change on the trees, and we've had just the right amount of moisture this year," Davis said.
Davis says the next seven weeks should include a long and exceptional showing of colors.
"The peak at the top of the mountain will probably be the second or third week of October at Newfound Gap. But it'll be green in Gatlinburg at that time, and slowly that'll change down the mountain," Davis explained.
Many on the tram say they're making plans for another trip a little later in the season.
Park service officials at Great Smoky Mountains National Park National Park say Newfound Gap Road, Cades Cove Loop Road and Little River Road are all areas with a scenic view.