The latest news from the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency (TEMA) said “1,413 structures have been damaged or destroyed by the fire, including Westgate Resort and Spa and the iconic Smoky Mountain Castle which overlooked the city.”
The area has since received much-needed rain that provided much-needed relief. “It’s a little numbing, to be honest with you, to see the extent of the damage,” said Gov. Bill Haslam.
While a 6 pm to 6 am curfew was still in place throughout last week, home and business owners were allowed in each day from 10 am to 5 pm. Plus, a water-boil advisory has been issued. Pigeon Forge was left unharmed and businesses there are open, including Dollywood amusement park. However, most facilities on the Tennessee side of Great Smoky Mountain National Park remain closed, including Ripley’s Aquarium. (Write letters of hope and joy, send Christmas cards to Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies 88 River Rd Gatlinburg TN 37738. They will make a wall display at the Aquarium.)
Aquarium employees were evacuated during the spread of the fire on Monday, November 28, 2016, leaving as many as 11,000 animals behind. Marine biologists were allowed back in Tuesday and all the animals are fine.
www.seviercountytn.org has interactive map which is very cool:
For those who wish to help the many people who lost their homes and livelihoods, please visit the Knoxville, Tennessee, chapter of the American Red Cross at http://www.redcross.org/local/tennessee.
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