Blue Ridge Parkway reopens after Florence moves on

Aaron Burden: Unsplash

Officials are beginning to open roads in the Asheville, North Carolina, area, and specifically the Blue Ridge Parkway, which was completely shut down Friday. It is now open for 18 miles in the Asheville area, from Bull Gap/Ox Creek Road at MP 375, to MP 393.6 at U.S. 191/Brevard Road, according to park spokeswoman Leesa Brandon.

Crews are out working the road both north and south of Asheville, and as crews assess and clear the road of fallen trees more sections will reopen, reported the Citizen-Times. Visitors and motorists are advised to watch the parkway’s real-time road closure map for the most up-to-date information.

In the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, west of Asheville on the North Carolina-Tennessee border, officials began reopening roads and facilities at 6 a.m. Monday.

Park crews continue to clear fallen trees and limbs along roadways and assessing campgrounds and facilities for reopening, a park spokeswoman said.

All main thoroughfares and campgrounds are now open and crews continue to work toward opening outlying areas. With the exception of Balsam Mountain Campground-Picnic Area-Road, Rich Mountain Road, and Round Bottom Road, all other roads and facilities were expected to open by noon Monday.

A hazardous weather outlook remains in effect for Western North Carolina and hikers should expect downed trees and limbs along trails, especially at higher elevations, as well as flooded stream crossings causing rivers and trails to become hazardous. There are no trail closures, but trails have not been assessed.

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