Residents prepare return to scorched Gatlinburg
GATLINBURG, Tenn. - Thousands of people are preparing to get their first look at what remains of their homes and businesses after a wildfire tore through the resort community of Gatlinburg n the eastern Tennessee mountains.
Local officials, bowing to pressure from frustrated property owners, said they'll allow people back into most parts of the city and affected parts of the county for the first time Friday beginning at 10 a.m.
Gatlinburg City Manager Cindy Cameron Ogle says residents have to pass through a checkpoint and must show some proof of ownership or residency. She says the city is not implying that private property is safe and that people may encounter downed power lines and other dangers.
The wildfires killed 11 people and damaged hundreds of homes and businesses.