Ill-Timed Storm Interferes with Campground Opening
As the latest round of heavy rain moves out of East Tennessee, park officials at the Great Smoky Mountains National Park are expecting to do a lot of cleaning. The park's campgrounds open on Friday (March 11), WBIR-TV, Knoxville, Tenn., reported.
"We usually go in and clean up all the debris before they open, so we're concerned about having extra debris," said Bob Miller, park spokesperson.
Its not just the rain and flooding that causes concern. Wednesday's heavy winds created additional problems.
"We have had a lot of rain, and what that does is it tends to make the ground more saturated. When you get that wind on top of that, those roots don't hold very well in that sloppy wet ground and you have more trees that come down," Miller said.
The beginning of March is typically busy on weekends, but with spring breaks about to start, the campgrounds will be even busier.
"We're getting to the time when we'll have college groups come in here pretty much any day during the week now, and that'll only grow over the course of the month," Miller said.
The park relies heavily on volunteers to keep back-country trails clear and safe.