GATLINBURG (WATE) - The first snowfall of the season was reported Tuesday in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, with many visitors stopping to see the accumulation.
Officials reported Clingmans Dome Road was closed on Tuesday afternoon.
Snow is accumulating in grassy areas and trees in the higher elevations, particularly in the Clingmans Dome and Chimney Tops trailhead areas.
Park officials weren't anticipating a large amount of snowfall at the beginning of the day.
"It's starting to get icy on some of the roads. We have sent out some
sand trucks. Our plow trucks are ready if we do get some accumulation," said park spokesperson Dana Soehn.
That accumulation did arrive as 6 News climbed to higher elevations. There was a lot of snow between the Chimney Tops trailhead to the Newfound Gap parking area. Snow began to fall very heavily, covering everything it touched.
"We were expecting a little bit of snow but this exceeds our expectations," said visitor Martijn Remena.
Park officials are encouraging visitors to be careful if they do decide to come see the snow.
"Make sure you are driving at appropriate speeds, because those bridges and tunnel areas in particular can have some ice accumulation where we haven't got the sand mixture on yet," said Soehn.
Wintry precipitation is not expected to accumulate in the valley.