News Release

United States Department of Agriculture

CLEVELAND, TENN, September 7, 2017 – USDA Forest Service officials say that Hurricane Irma could impact the Cherokee National Forest after it makes landfall. Depending on which path Irma takes high winds and considerable rain could be possible.

Excessive rain and high wind have the potential to create high water, flash floods, falling trees, mudslides, and severe damage to roads. Much of the Cherokee National Forest is heavily wooded, remote and mountainous, making the potential for hazardous conditions significant. Due to the potential hazards national forest visitors should play close attention to weather reports and be prepared to cut their visit short. Anyone planning a visit to the national forest
should seriously consider postponing their visit until the threat of Hurricane Irma in this area diminishes.

Low laying areas are especially vulnerable to rapidly rising and swift water. These areas should
be avoided during and after major storm events. Trees falling or large limbs breaking off are not uncommon occurrences during windy conditions. Excessive rain can severely damage or wash out gravel/dirt roads in the national forest. With the uncertainty of the extent of impacts from Hurricane Irma and the potential for hazardous conditions national forest visitors are urged to take necessary safety precautions and to be aware of changing conditions.

For outdoor safety information visit online:

Forest Service
Cherokee National Forest
2800 Ocoee Street N.
Cleveland, TN 37312

Media Contact: Terry McDonald
(423) 476-9700