Blue Ridge Parkway warns of landslides, shuts all campgrounds as hurricane pounds NC

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The Blue Ridge Parkway has called for a mandatory evacuation of campgrounds as Hurricane Florence pounds the state with heavy rains and wind gusts in the 100 mph range.

Among the National Park’s fears: Landslides.

North Carolina announced Wednesday it was also closing all its state parks through at least Sunday.

The evacuation of Blue Ridge Parkway campers was put in place “pending high wind and heavy rain” expected from the storm in the Appalachians early next week.

The National Hurricane Center said Friday that Hurricane Florence had dumped 14 inches of rain so far in some areas of the state.

Florence is predicted to bring rainfall between 6 and 15 inches in the mountains, as it moves on a projected path northwest through South Carolina into western North Carolina.

Officials with the 469-mile-long parkway posted on Facebook that they are preparing “for high volumes of rain, strong winds at higher elevations, and potential landslides across the foothills and mountains of the Southern Blue Ridge.”

“Based on the course of the storm through the weekend and early next week, wide spread Parkway closures may occur,” said a statement posted on Facebook.

“Where conditions permit and the road remains open, park visitors are reminded to use extreme caution and be aware of the potential for falling rocks and downed trees.”

Mark Price: 704-358-5245, @markprice_obs