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Closures announced for parts of Cherokee National Forest due to Irma

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To help prepare for the impacts of Irma, officials have announced that parts of the Cherokee National Forest will be closing at noon on Monday.

The closure for the Ocoee and Tellico Ranger Districts includes all recreation areas, dispersed use areas, viewing areas, picnic sites, boat ramps, trails, and the Ocoee Whitewater Center.

Officials said the excessive rain and wind expected from Irma has the potential to cause flash flooding, falling trees, landslides, and damaged roads.

If you have been planning a visit and have made a reservation, you're asked to go to Recreation.gov or call 1-877-444-6777.

We are implementing this closure for public safety concerns," Cherokee National Forest Supervisor JaSal Morris said. "With the uncertainty of the impacts from the storm, we believe this closure is prudent and necessary."

Additional closures in other parts of the Cherokee National Forest may become necessary as the storm progresses. A visit to any portion of the forest at this time is not advised, according to officials.

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