Campers are being allowed back into the Elkmont Campground in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park on Thursday afternoon after it was evacuated due to heavy rains
There were 196 reservations plus three group reservations last night at the Elkmont Campgrounds. The evacuees were being held at the Suglarlands Visitor Center.
Rain overnight at higher elevations caused park officials to evacuate campers as a precaution. The rainfall at Clingmans Dome totaled 2.54 inches overnight into Thursday. Park officials say the Little River rose to just below the level of the bridge deck, a rise of about six feet.
The campground lies right along the Little River.
Rangers closed Little River Road early Thursday morning, then began the process of evacuating the campground. Messages were also sent to campers in the park’s backcountry to warn them about river crossings.
Crews are assessing the roadways making sure roads and bridges weren’t damaged by the rain.