cloudhiking - maps and adventure guides

Site Links


Contact Us









Friends' Links

Appalachia & Beyond

Family Wilds


Marking My Territory

Outcast Hikers


388 Mountain Tornadoes 2011-05-06

Smokies Lookout

Years ago, while I was visiting a friend in the mountains of east Tennessee, a storm came through the area and a tornado touched down. The area had an old drive-in movie theater that had begun to show adult movies. The small community was unhappy with the change of fare; but the theater was just trying to survive hard times and the new multi-screen theater in the mall.

During the storm, the tornado blew a gaping hole in the theater's outside screen and then continued it's destructive path down the major highway.

The next morning I went to church with my friends family. The preacher began delivering a fiery message. The wrath of God was embodied in the tornado as it destructed the evil theater. My friends dad leaned over to me and said, "if God caused that tornado to tear up the theater, what do you think the folks that owned that Gyro Shop across the highway had been doing? God destroyed that whole building, and I liked their food!"

Tornadoes are an act of the forces of nature. Yet they can be so random, that at times it hardly makes sense. One house is demolished and another is untouched; but such is life.

The big tornadoes that passed through Mississippi, Alabama, and Tennessee last week, also brought damage to Great Smoky Mountain National Park. The western section of the Park was hit, downing many trees and closing many trails. Of course having trees knocked down in a National Park is nothing in comparison to the death and destruction the twisters wrought in other areas.

The storms that hit the Park were big. The initial reports of damage to the trails stated that the very popular, Abrams Falls Trail, would reopen on May 6. An updated report showed that the crews hoped to have the trails reopened by Memorial Day! Oops, there was a little more damage than they originally accessed. The tornado was massive, but in the Smokies, the storm basically only knocking down trees. The Park will utilize biologists and foresters to find the best ways to re-forest the area. The folks affected in Mississippi, Alabama, and Tennessee should have been so lucky.

Best wishes to all those trying to re-build their lives. I think we can all wait a while before we have to walk those Smoky trails again ...

Happy re-building trails


Name (required):

Comment (required):

Please Introduce Secure Code: