NASHVILLE (CBSMiami/AP) – Much needed rain is moving through a Tennessee tourism region ravaged by wildfires.
The National Weather Service reported that the Gatlinburg area got about ¾ of an inch to 1 inch of rain overnight Tuesday into Wednesday. The rain is forecast to pick up midday Wednesday through the afternoon and taper off about 4 or 5 p.m. The system is moving slowly, which increases the chances of more rain.
Tennessee Emergency Management Agency spokesman Dean Flener said any rain will help, but the fires are still an “ongoing situation.”
During wildfires Monday night, many buildings in Gatlinburg were burned to their foundation. Hotel fire alarms eerily echoed through empty streets lined with burned out cars Tuesday evening.
Three people were killed.
The fire destroyed at least 150 buildings, including iconic homes and a resort. Other buildings and attractions remained largely intact, including the Dollywood amusement park in nearby Pigeon Forge.
Wildfires have been burning for several weeks across the drought-stricken South. But Monday marked the first time homes and businesses were destroyed on a large scale.
Gatlinburg, a city that opens up to 11 million visitors annually, is facing a new reality. But Mayor Mike Werner, who lost his home, says his town will pull together and recover.
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