This massive rock slide happened this past Sunday, Oct. 25th at 2am. It's near mile marker 3 & they are projecting it could be 3 months to clean up. You can see why from the picture above that was obtained by the Haywood County Planning Department. It's a miracle that no one was seriously hurt or killed due to massive boulders, dirt & debris sliding down the mountain on to Interstate-40, affective both EAST & WEST directions.
If you have to travel that route, it's recommended detour around the slide is to take I-26 West to Johnson City, then take I-81 South back to I-40.. or you can take 441 into Gatlinburg & head from there.. It will be an incovenience, but due to mother nature's surprise slide, it is completely understandable.
Below is an email we received from the North Carolina Department of Commerce.. We'll continue to post updates as they become available.
From: Tuttell, Wit [mailto:email@example.com] Sent: Monday, October 26, 2009 4:19 PM To: North Carolina PR Hotline Contacts Subject: I-40 Rockslide response
Hello everyone. In response to the rockslide on I-40, the Division has taken several steps to work with the media and with visitors to ensure that an accurate picture of the situation is presented.
We have sent press releases to in-state and Southeastern media outlets explaining the exact nature of the detour and assuring them that North Carolina is still accessible for visitors from all sides and to all places.
We are also running updates on our website and announcing them through special NewsLink releases whenever the NC Department of Transportation releases new information.
The I-40 West Welcome Center is at mile marker 10, east of the rockslide. Because the interstate is closed and access to the Welcome Center is restricted, staff from the center will work at the I-26 West Welcome Center in Madison County at peak times during the fall color season.
We'll keep you updated as best we can as the situation unfolds.
Wit Tuttell Public Relations Director North Carolina Department of Commerce Division of Tourism, Film and Sports Development 919-733-7420; firstname.lastname@example.org www.visitnc.com
E-mail correspondence to and from this address is subject to the North Carolina Public Records Law and may be disclosed to third parties.
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