All roads in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park will be closed at 12:30 p.m. Wednesday due to a high wind storm heading that way, park officials have announced.
Crews will be working to keep the Gatlinburg Bypass and the Spur corridor between Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge open throughout the storm.
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As of noon, the park was already experiencing sustained winds of 20 mph in the higher elevations with gusts of 50 mph.
The incoming storm could bring winds with gusts up to 80 mph, according to a park release.
Rangers are working to close roads and notify campers.
The Sugarlands Visitor Center and Oconaluftee Visitor Center will remain open, but the Cable Mill Visitor Center area in Cades Cove will be shut down.
“The safety of our park employees and visitors is our highest priority,” said Facility Management Chief Alan Sumeriski. “We have staged equipment and crews to respond as safely and quickly as possible to open roads and respond to emergencies.”