Hurricane history of East Tennessee

Hurricanes are rare in this part of the country, but several previous storms have impacted East Tennessee.

KNOXVILLE - It is probably not the first thing that comes to mind when you think of East Tennessee, but hurricanes are not unheard of in the region. 

Within the past 30 years, at least five hurricanes have impacted East Tennessee. Because Knoxville is hundreds of miles from the nearest coastline, rain, snow, and wind are usually the only effects the area feels. 

"As soon as a hurricane or a tropical system moves inland, it loses its engine, its source of strength, its warm water. So it rapidly weakens," said WBIR Meteorologist Todd Howell.

In 1989, Hurricane Hugo caused damage in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Six years later, Hurricane Opal tore down trees and closed trails in the park. 70 miles of the Appalachian Trail was closed as crews worked to repair the damage caused by the high winds. 

In 2004, East Tennessee felt the effects of Hurricane Ivan and Hurricane Frances. 

"Frances and Ivan, both of those and quite an impact in East Tennessee in 2004," said Howell. "Frances coming right up from our south, Ivan coming through and looping back around to the Gulf."

In 2012, Superstorm Sandy brought large amounts of snow to the Smoky Mountains. 32 inches fell on Mount LeConte.

Hurricane Harvey also pushed moisture towards Knoxville with remnants of the destructive hurricane dropping about two inches of rain in the area. 

© 2017 WBIR.COM


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