NOON UPDATE: A suspicious backpack found in downtown Gatlinburg posed no threat and police have cleared the area for a return to normal traffic Monday morning.
"The Gatlinburg Police Department, along with the Sevier County Sheriff’s Department Hazardous Device Unit team have determined that the downtown area is safe," a follow-up note from the city states.
"There was no hazardous device discovered near 745 Parkway in downtown. Vehicular and pedestrian traffic have been allowed to resume in the area. After it was determined that the suspicious backpack was not a threat, it was discovered that it was left behind by a patron of the business on Sunday evening."
PREVIOUS STORY: Discovery of a suspicious package Monday morning prompted Gatlinburg police to clear part of the downtown commercial area.
"The Police Department was notified at around 10 a.m. of a suspicious package near Puckers," a statement from the city reads. "The Police Department has evacuated a 300-foot perimeter around the area, including closing the area to pedestrian and vehicle traffic.
"The Sevier County Sheriff’s Department bomb squad is in route to the scene and can hopefully reach a resolution soon. We will keep you updated as we get further information."
Puckers is a sports bar in the midst of a commercial strip on the Parkway downtown.
WBIR will provide more details as they become available.