GREENBRIER, Tenn. (WATE) — The Great Smoky Mountains National Park has announced that they’ve temporarily closed roads, trails and facilities in the Greenbrier area due to flood damage. The area is closed to everyone until further notice.
The National Park received heavy rainfall on Tuesday that caused flooding within the area. One of the damages included the Historic Emerts Cove Covered Bridge on the Greenbrier Campground.
Preliminary damage assessments include road washouts along the Porters Creek Road, culvert damage and washed out footlogs on Ramsey Cascades Trail.
The temporary closure includes Greenbrier Picnic Area, Greenbrier Picnic Pavilion, Ramsey Cascades Trail, Porters Creek Trail, and Backcountry Campsites 31, 32 and 33.
Old Settlers, Brushy Mountain and Grapeyard Ridge Trails will continue to be open, but hikers cannot access these trails from the Greenbrier area.
Hikers will need to plan their routes and prepare in case they need to turn around when encountering high-water river crossings or damaged trail conditions along these routes.
The Porters Gap area received an estimated 8.72 inches of rain around 9 p.m., according to the National Weather Service Doppler radar.
The area also received five inches of rain last week, resulting in saturated soils before the storm cell produced flash floods conditions along the Middle Prong of the Little Pigeon River, according to the news release.
“We remind everyone to be mindful of weather forecasts and to be prepared with an emergency plan before heading out into the backcountry as these popup storms can cause the rivers to rise rapidly,” Deputy Superintendent Alan Sumeriski said. “Just last Friday, emergency responders from the park and Gatlinburg Fire and Rescue successfully rescued a 13-year-old boy from rising flood waters in the Chimneys Picnic Area. Please exercise caution when recreating near or attempting to cross rivers in the park.”
The Great Smoky Mountain National Park will provide more information about a repair schedule after assessments are completed.
For any information about water safety, visit the National Park Service’s Water Safety page. For more information about the temporary closures across the park, visit the National Park Service’s Temp Road Close page.