As of Tuesday morning, Hurricane Sandy has already had a significant impact on eastern national parks, and will continue to impact travelers for the foreseeable future.
Allyson Virden, from the Mt. LeConte Lodge, is reporting on her blog this morning that the mountain has already received 17 inches of snow, and was coming down hard as she posted her report (with some great photos). By the time the snow ends, she adds, this could be the most snow she has ever seen atop the mountain in the 10 years that she's worked at the lodge. The National Weather Service is reporting a total of 18 inches of snow at Newfound Gap this morning.
Allyson mentioned they had 15 guests who made it up the mountain yesterday. Most of them will be staying a second night, as it was tough slogging through the 8 inches of snow that were on the ground yesterday.
Allyson also states:
Once again, I can not stress enough, how important it is for everyone to use common sense about attempting to hike up here. Please make sure you have the appropriate attire. This weather is not forgiving. Make sure someone knows you are on the trail. Practice safe hiking.
Here are a few closings as of this morning:
• Newfound Gap Road, Clingmans Dome Road, Cataloochee Entrance Road and Old NC-284 between Big Creek and Cataloochee in the Great Smoky Mountains are closed due to snow and ice.
• Snow, rain, and extreme wind have forced the closure of most sections of the Blue Ridge Parkway. Until the weather improves and cleanup is completed, travel on the Parkway is not advised.
• Shenandoah National Park remains closed.
• In North Carolina, Mount Mitchell, Grandfather Mountain and Mount Jefferson are closed due to snow; hazardous road conditions exist near most mountain parks.
As the day progresses I will try to update this post with other closings and alerts for parks and national forests in the Smokies region.
For the latest updates on closings in the Great Smoky Mountains, please click here.
For updates on current weather and forecasts for the region, please visit the weather page on HikingintheSmokys.com.
Hiking in the Smokies