Strong winds close roads, flip over tractor-trailer

Strong winds close roads, flip over tractor-trailer

Posted:
A downed tree on Foothills Parkway near the Smokies. (Source: Jeff Weaver) A downed tree on Foothills Parkway near the Smokies. (Source: Jeff Weaver)
An overturned tractor-trailer in Greene County. (Source: The Greeneville Sun) An overturned tractor-trailer in Greene County. (Source: The Greeneville Sun)

By ALEXIS ZOTOS
6 News Reporter

GREENEVILLE (WATE) - Strong winds and storms closed roads and injured one person across East Tennessee on Thursday.

In Greene County, the National Weather Service reported that one person was injured when a tractor-trailer flipped over on Camp Creek Road.

Another home was evacuated on Sunnydale Road because of structural damage and two other buildings were damaged.

Several overturned sheds and ripped off siding was also reported in the Camp Creek area.

Power outages were also reported.

In the Chuckey area, several trees and numerous limbs were down. Several roof shingles were also blown off buildings.

In the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, U.S. 441 from Gatlinburg to Cherokee, N.C. and the Cades Cove Loop Road were temporarily closed because of downed trees in the park.

"It was very high winds, up to 66 m.p.h. for an average. We even had some gusts of 90 to 100 m.p.h., which is pretty strong," said Molly Schroer, spokeswoman for the Great Smoky National Park. Schroer said the peak gusts were the highest in the last three years.

They also warned that people could also come across downed branches or trees in the park and to exercise caution.

"We had a lot of trees that came down with that, and limbs and tops of trees that came down and blocked the road, because of all this we did have to close the road over the park, New Found Gap, 441," Schroer said.

Highway 441 reopened around 3 p.m. as well as Little River Road and Green Briar Road. However, as of Thursday night, Cades Cove Loop Road and the upper section of Tremont Road remained closed.

Fast dropping temperatures could cause other roads to close over night.

"They're forecasting for very cold temperatures tonight and I think it's expected snow, so we'll do what we normally do, which is monitor road conditions," Shroer said. "We could close the road depending on if it's a safety issue. And then we'll work to get crews out to open it up but we won't open it till it's safe for passage for visitors."

Depending on weather conditions, they hope to have all roads open by Friday afternoon.

The latest information on road conditions in the park is available on the park service's twitter feed.

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