Blue Ridge Parkway Closed for Cleanup


Ashville, NC (WSPA) –

The Hills of North Carolina are filled with tall trees and lush greenery; but after rough weather, rangers are now worried about those tall trees staying up in this soft ground. “Road Closed” is the sign visitors will see as they try to enter Blue Ridge Parkway. The wind and rain from Irma left trees and debris scattered throughout the park.

Leesa Brandon is with the National Park Service ans says they are working to get the gates open to welcome visitors, “As soon as we can make determinations that sections are clear we are sections need work will begin to start that opening process.”

Clean up crews are riding through the park from North Carolina to Virginia just to make sure the roads are clear, Leesa says if the whether cooperates the safety check will be easy, “Hopefully winds are dying down and we’re able to access the areas we haven’t been able to access today due to heavy fog and continued high wing gusts.”

On the other hand the North Carolina Arboretum covers more than 435 acres. Most of it filled with trees, however there are 10 miles of hiking and biking trails on the property. Whitney Smith is with the Arboretum and says their landscape was nearly untouched, “we are actually very pleased there are no trees down reported on the trails very minimal damage just some twigs and branches that have fallen.”

Whitney also says, they’re in the business of watching trees grow and develop. It’s an education they want to share with the public, “you can spend as little as two hours or a full day at the Arboretum and learn something new every time you come.”

And thanks to the wind and rain from Irma things may look a little different until the clean up is complete.

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