WESTERN NC — Western North Carolina residents are slowly recovering from hurricanes Frances, Ivan and Jeanne. So are the region's parks and forest land.
Officials say it could take months and up to 60 million dollars to restore damage on state and federal parklands.
Most major thoroughfares are returning to normal in time for fall leaf season, but there's still a lot of mess in the backcountry. Broken bridges, washed-out roads and battered campgrounds must be repaired or cleaned up.
The Great Smoky Mountains National Park sustained 2-point-7 million dollars in damage. About half of this originates on park trails.
The Blue Ridge Parkway sustained up to 10 million dollars in damage. Portions of the road were closed immediately after Frances and as Ivan neared. Only two sections remained blocked this month totaling 19 miles of the 469 miles of parkway running through Virginia and North Carolina.