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Winter Weather Closes Great Smoky Mountains National Park For the Second Day in a Row

Great Smoky Mountains National Park officials announced plans to keep the park closed for a second day due to winter weather. According to the official press release, park roads are covered with ice and snow while below-freezing temperatures continue to linger. The closure means all park facilities, visitor centers, and other amenities are shut down.

Park Rangers say the following roads in the park are closed: 

  • Newfound Gap
  • Little River
  • Gatlinburg Bypass, Cherokee
  • Orchard at park boundary
  • Laurel Creek
  • Cades Cove Loop
  • Upper Tremont
  • Foothills Parkway East & West
  • Wears Cove Gap
  • Old NC 284
  • Lakeview Drive
  • Greenbrier
  • Cataloochee Entrance
  • Tom Branch

The park has not sent out many images, but a few hikers within the park have shared images over the last few days.

Officials say they will reassess the situation to determine when they can reopen safely.

Recent weather has impacted multiple other National Park Service sites, including closures from New Mexico to the Carolinas. The instant temperatures are part of an arctic blast that has moved from the West to the East Coast. According to NBC News, more than 140 million people in the U.S. are under wind chill advisories or warnings. Unfortunately, officials are also blaming the extreme weather for the death of at least seven people.

winter weather
Winter weather has covered most of the country. (Photo by Samuel Corum/Getty Images)

Earlier this week, the cold weather impacted the NFL playoffs and dumped heavy snow in the Rocky Mountains, among other places.

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