NEWFOUND GAP, TN. (AP) - Highway 441 across the Smokies was closed on Tuesday as heavy, wet snow continued to fall.

Great Smoky Mountains National Park spokeswoman Dana Soehn said snow at Newfound Gap had reached about 24 inches late Tuesday morning, and some drifts were as high as 3 or 4 feet.

At LeConte Lodge, the 15 or so visitors were encouraged to stay put.

Soehn said that with road closures the hike between the lodge and the nearest parking area was at least six miles.

Another 30 people had overnight reservations along the Appalachian Trail's backcountry shelters. Park officials did not know how many of those people had followed through with their hiking plans.

Soehn said they have received no distress calls.

Snow and high winds were expected to continue through Wednesday morning.

 

Information from: The Knoxville News Sentinel, http://www.knoxnews.com

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