Cherokee National Forest announces closures due to Irma

(Photo: Cherokee National Forest)

CLEVELAND, Tenn. (WATE) — The Cherokee National Forest will be closing the Ocoee and Tellico Ranger Districts due to Tropical Storm Irma.

The closure includes all recreation areas, dispersed use areas, viewing areas, picnic sites, boat ramps, trails and Ocoee Whitewater Center.

Cherokee National Forest Supervisor JaSal Morris said, “We are implementing this closure for public safety concerns. With the uncertainty of the extent of impacts from the storm we believe this closure is prudent and necessary. Our highest priority is employee and national forest visitor safety. The closure will be lifted as soon as the storm threat has passed and damage assessments are completed.”

The forest is expecting the storm to cause excessive rain and wind, falling trees, flooding and more.

Visitors who are currently in the forest must leave no later than noon on Monday. If you made a reservation at the park, contact Recreation.gov or call 877-444-6777.

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