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Shenandoah National Park’s Skyline Drive remains closed after Winter weather

Hurlbert says closings of the Drive are common in the Winter, with February often being especially tough.
Published: Feb. 23, 2021 at 5:33 AM EST
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HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) - Back-to-back Winter storms have kept Skyline Drive in Shenandoah National Park (SNP) closed for more than two weeks now.

Sally Hurlbert with SNP says, crews have been working hard to clear the road, but more snowfall on the morning of Monday, Feb. 22 just added to the mess.

“We got it down to almost pavement, except there was still like an inch of ice on it,” said Hurlbert. “And now snow on top of that ice, it’s just going to stay pretty slick until we get enough warm weather to get it back down to pavement.”

Hurlbert says closings of the Drive are common in the Winter, with February often being especially tough. She says currently, SNP maintenance is working to get the North-end miles 0-5 open. Warmer weather in the forecast could be helpful in melting the ice, but that isn’t the Park’s only worry.

“But then we have to get in there and remove the trees that are down on Skyline Drive” Hurlbert said. “Sometimes they’re off the road but they’re overhanging, weighted down by the ice in a hazardous way so we have to get up there and get those trees and limbs.”

While there is no current date for Skyline Drive to reopen, the park itself is not closed. According to Hurlbert, hikers have been parking at the entrance and walking through. But, with ice, SNP says hiking can be very dangerous and visitors should be extra cautious while on the trails.

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