GATLINBURG (WATE) – The city of Gatlinburg and Sevier County are allowing some limited access to property owners and others beginning Friday to see what is left of their properties and collect belongings.
All roads will be open in the fire-damaged areas to property owners from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday, except Beech Branch Road, Walker Trail Road and Wiley Oakley Road. People must be able to prove they are property owners, leasers or renters. This also applies to tourists who would like to retrieve belongings they left behind. Officials will work with business owners to confirm that people were staying at their lodging businesses.
If all goes well, the access will remain open during those hours through Tuesday. There will be one entry station at the East Parkway near Gatlinburg City Hall and can only be reached by Glades Road. There may be areas with active utility workers and first responders and people should be prepared for delays and finding alternate routes.
Structures may not be safe. The city is not implying such by allowing access. Homeowners may bring insurance adjusters with them. The current goal is to reopen downtown Parkway, River Road and Airport Road on Wednesday to the general public.