Shards of wood and sawdust covered the roadsides in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park (GSMNP) on Monday. The minor debris was the only obvious remnant of a powerful weekend storm that downed more than 150 trees on park roadways.

Gusts up to 77 miles per hour battered the Tennessee side of the Smokies on Saturday and early Sunday. The winds forced the park to close many of its main roads from Saturday morning until noon Sunday during one of the busiest weekends of the year for tourism.

"We had a peak wind of 77 miles per hour at Cove Mountain and sustained winds of 40 to 50 miles per hour through the storm. Our teams really came together to be able to close the roads for safety, then assess the damage and get those roads reopened quickly," said Dana Soehn, GSMNP spokesperson.

Soehn said the roads were packed with tourists enjoying the fall colors when the weather grew too dangerous to allow traffic inside the park.

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