After water levels finally leveled out a little bit and streams in the Smokies were starting to look normal… BAM! More heavy rain and more high water!
We still haven’t seen official rainfall totals for the national park, but there was over 3″ of rain in just a few hours around most of East Tennessee. This was on already saturated ground so it didn’t take long for the water to start rising.
Here’s a look at Little River at around 5:00 yesterday afternoon. We saw one our park ranger friends at the Townsend Y. She was headed up to Metcalf Bottoms to check on things and said her main objective was to see whether or not the road should be closed.
There were a few spots where another few inches and the river would start to come up on the road. We exited via Metcal Bottoms to head back to Townsend the rangers locked down the road until the river fell.
It’s already come down to merely high levels. There will likely be paddlers on the river today, but the level yesterday afternoon was beyond any safe level for paddling. For reference it was over 8000 cubic feet per second at the gauge below the Y. Most paddlers prefer the river in the range of 1000-2000 cfs.