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Wednesday, 13 February 2013 14:01

Cataloochee road closed due to wash out

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out road washoutThe gravel road leading into Cataloochee Valley in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park was washed out by recent heavy rains and has been closed just past Palmer Chapel.

The park received over four inches of rain on Jan. 30, resulting in rising streams. Average rainfall during January across the park is between five and seven inches on average, but the park received between 14 and 17 inches of rain this January.

The gravel roads was washed out, exposing underlying rock and culverts. Park crews are assessing the damage and estimate that repairs will be completed by the end of March. In addition to replacing culverts, the road will need to be graveled and re-graded.

High waters also damaged gravel roads in the Greenbrier and Parson’s Creek area on the Tennessee side of the park, and destroyed the pedestrian bridge across Walker Camp Prong along the popular Chimney Tops Trail. The 70-foot long pedestrian bridge, originally built in the late 1950s, will have to be entirely replaced to allow trail access.

www.nps.gov/grsm or 865.436.1200.

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