HAMPTON, Tenn. (WJHL) — Days after storms whipped through the Tri-Cities, a Carter County community is still taking stock of the damage.
On Tuesday, staff with the National Weather Service and United States Forest Service worked to clear the area of debris and to determine whether a tornado had touched down in that area.
The NWS confirmed a tornado touchdown in neighboring Avery County, North Carolina.
“We have large swaths of forest that have been laid on the ground,” Forest Technician Matthew Gilbert told News Channel 11. “We have substantial damage to the campground with multiple large trees laid down.”
Though the road into Dennis Cove was clear on Wednesday, Forest Service employees continued to clear debris and create access to private property inside Cherokee National Forest.
Gilbert said crews were working to ensure as little fallen wood went to waste as possible.
“We’ll try to salvage some of the logs if we can, and sell firewood permit and then get the campground back in order,” said Gilbert.
Though the damage was severe, Gilbert said the fallen trees will make way for new growth.
“Long term, it creates early successional habitat and different things for birds,” said Gilbert. “In the short term, it looks really bad and it’s a problem, you know, just getting in and out and all the damage to the trails and the roads in the campground.”
Gilbert said Dennis Cove campground will be closed for around a week.