30+ acre fire reported in Gatlinburg area, 10K+ without power

High wind gusts are causing power outages in Sevier County.

High winds are causing several major issues in Sevier County and across East Tennessee. 

Fire crews from around the area are being called in to help battle a 30-acre brush fire in the Gatlinburg/Pittman area. The Seymour Volunteer Fire Department confirmed the Wildland Task Force has been activated to assist. 

Authorities said the fire is located at East Parkway and Branam Hollow Road. 

Meanwhile, high winds have been toppling trees and power lines across the region. There have been winds up to 70 miles per hour reported in the Smokies. 

All visitors centers in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and most park roads have been closed, according to the park service. 

The situation has traffic at a crawl on the spur between Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg. 

As of 1 p.m., authorities have not reported any evacuations.

However, a Red Cross shelter has been opened at the Pigeon Forge Community Center for anyone affected by the power outages. It is located at 170 Community Center Drive.

As of 12:15 p.m., Sevier County Electric System was reporting more than 11-thousand outages in their service area. Downed trees took out two of their substations, according to Sevier County Electric Superintendent Allen Robbins. The South Gatlinburg substation in the middle of town has been restored, but the Glades Substation is still out.

Right now, customers in Gatlinburg, Pittman Center, Ski Mountain, and Cobby Nob are affected.

Crews are working to restore power quickly, but Robbins says the high winds are causing more trees to fall as they clear other ones.

Sevier County School officials say all students are safe, but there was some wind damage to the gym roof at Gatlinburg-Pittman High School.

The power was out at the high school, as well as at Pittman Center Elementary. They lost power at Pi Beta Phi for a time, but it has been restored.

Parents can pick up their students if they wish, but buses will run on a normal schedule this afternoon.

© 2017 WBIR.COM


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