Last week's heavy rains have forced the U.S. Forest Service to close several roads in the Nantahala and Pisgah National Forests to protect public safety. The roads are either damaged or impassable, or both.
The following roads are closed in Pisgah National Forest:
Appalachian Ranger District: Forest Service Road (FSR) 162 near Silvermine Campground is closed. The campground is closed this year. FSRs 63 (Stony Fork Road) and FSR 2074 (Neals Creek Road) remain closed because of damage caused earlier this year.
Grandfather Ranger District: FSR 470 (Little Buck Road) is currently impassable.
Pisgah Ranger District: FSR 225 (Upper Cover Creek Road) is closed as erosion has caused road failure. FSR 229 (Pilot Mountain Road) remains closed because of culvert failures and other repairs.
The following road is closed in the Nantahala National Forest:
Tusquitee Ranger District: The road to the Panther Top Shooting Range is closed because of wet road conditions. The road will reopen as soon as weather conditions permit, which could be as early as this weekend.
Visitors should call the ranger district offices with additional questions about road closures and conditions. Phone numbers are available at click here.
In general, the Forest Service encourages visitors to the Nantahala and Pisgah National Forests to use caution when driving on Forest Service roads as heavy rains have caused minor road damage in spots that may worsen with time and additional rain. Forest Service personnel continue to assess road conditions. For more safety tips on flash flooding, visit http://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/nfsnc/home/?cid=STELPRDB5415893.
Soils are saturated across the ranger districts. Saturated soils can also increase the chances of a hazard tree falling, so campers are encouraged to pitch tents away from dead or dying trees. For more safety tips about hazard trees, visit http://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DOCUMENTS/stelprdb5300293.pdf.
Rivers and streams in the national forests are flowing rapidly and can be dangerous right now. The Forest Service encourages visitors to either wait until water levels recede or use extreme caution when recreating in any waterways in the Nantahala and Pisgah National Forests this week.