news blue ridge parkway announces preemptive closures in advance of tropical storm ian
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Blue Ridge Parkway announces preemptive closures in advance of Tropical Storm Ian 

blue ridge parkway
(© jonbilous – stock.adobe.com)

National Park Service officials are closely monitoring the projected path of Tropical Storm Ian and preparing for a range of potential impacts across the Blue Ridge Parkway.

This weekend, visitors to the Blue Ridge Parkway should expect closures and use caution due to expected periods of heavy rainfall, flooding and strong wind.

Based on the projected course of the storm, closures will start in the following locations beginning late afternoon on Friday: 

  • Milepost 318 – 375.2 from Linville Spur Road to Bull Gap
  • Milepost 393 – 406 from the French Broad Overlook to Route 151 entrance (north side)
  • Milepost 412.9 – 443 from Hwy 276 (south side) to Balsam Gap
  • Milepost 446 – 469 from Balsam Gap to southern terminus

These severe weather closures are full closures to all public use.

Closures are expected to remain in place through at least mid-day Sunday and will re-open once assessments have been made, any storm damage cleared and the park is deemed safe for visitation.

As a result, the following facility impacts are also expected through at least mid-day on Sunday or longer depending on the extent of needed cleanup efforts:

  • Pisgah Inn will remain accessible via both Highway 151 and Highway 27, providing two egress routes in opposite directions for visitors.
  • Craggy Gardens Visitor Center at milepost 364 will be closed
  • Waterrock Knob Visitor Center at milepost 451.2 will be closed

Where conditions permit and the road remains open, park visitors are reminded to use extreme caution and be aware of the potential for falling rocks and downed trees.

Park visitors should use caution, adhere to posted speed limits and be prepared to stop or turn around at closed gates or road debris during this storm event.

For more information, visit www.nps.gov/

Crystal Graham

Crystal Abbe Graham is the regional editor of Augusta Free Press. A 1999 graduate of Virginia Tech, she has worked as a reporter and editor for several Virginia publications, written a book, and garnered more than a dozen Virginia Press Association awards for writing and graphic design. She was the co-host of "Viewpoints," a weekly TV news show, and co-host of Virginia Tonight, a nightly TV news show. Her work on "Virginia Tonight" earned her a national Telly award for excellence in television.