GSMNP Prepares For Tropical Storm Nate
Tropical Storm Nate and probably soon to be Hurricane Nate is in the Gulf of Mexico and predicted to head north toward Louisiana, Mississippi or Alabama. But then it continues north toward East Tennessee and the Great Smoky Mountains. It’s a fast-moving storm that will bring rain over the weekend. Sure the rain would be nice but the wind is unwanted. Just weeks ago the staff had to clean up after Hurricane Irma. Now they are preparing for another bout of bad weather. And at the worst possible time-the fall foliage season when the park is full of visitors here to view the fall foliage.
Here is the statement released on October 6, 2017 by the park service:
Weather Advisement in Anticipation of Tropical Storm Nate
Great Smoky Mountain National Park officials advise that the effects of Tropical Storm Nate may impact Great Smoky Mountains National Park as early as Saturday afternoon. Preliminary estimations from the National Weather Service suggest that the storm may pass the park Saturday afternoon, overnight into Sunday and on into Monday.
Current rainfall predictions range from 4-10 inches. Early wind estimates suggest the park could receive sustained winds of 25-39 mph with gusts grete and ater than 40 mph. Historically, flooding, landslides, road washouts, and numerous tree falls along roadways and trails are associated with these types of weather conditions.
Due to these potential hazards, officials advise front and backcountry visitors should pay close attention to current and projected weather conditions. All visitors should anticipate an increased risk for high stream crossings and down trees throughout the park. Many of the Park’s 1,000 campsites are located next to rivers and creeks which rise quickly during extreme rain events. Backcountry users are encouraged to closely examine their preparedness for backcountry travel and should consider altering their trip plans.
Park officials are closely monitoring the path of Nate and may implement additional preparations as weather forecasts further develop.
Hurricane warnings have been posted for Louisiana. As Nate crosses the Gulf of Mexico it could gain strength and be a Cat 1 or even as strong as a Cat 2 by the time it makes landfall somewhere between The Panhandle of Florida to Louisiana very early on Sunday. Please aware of weather conditions if you are traveling in the areas to be affected. Expect some road closures in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park if the conditions become too bad. Heavy rain, standing water, high winds, downed trees, fallen limbs and power outages are possible. To maintain the safety of visitors road closures may be needed in the park. Stay up to date on the news and weather.