Storm damage: 150 trees downed; 4 vehicles, 1 hiker hit by trees in Park

Local News

GATLINBURG, Tenn. (WATE) – High winds in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park over the weekend downed at least 150 trees.

“We had over 150 trees that came down on Saturday, primarily during the evening when winds were sustained at 40 mph with gusts as high as 77 mph, said Dana Soehn of the National Park Service.

Several major roads in the park were closed as a safety precaution, but four vehicles were hit by falling trees, including one that caused an injury to a Park Service employee.

RELATED: Highway 441 now back open between Gatlinburg and Cherokee, NC

A hiker also was injured by a falling tree about 1.5 miles above Alum Cave on Alum Cave Trail., Soehn said. A rescue crew of 13 carried the hiker to the trailhead from where she was to taken LeConte Medical Center.

The Park Service has not assessed trail damage yet.

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