The much publicized rock slide that has closed the southbound lanes of highway 441 between Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg (known to locals as “the spur”) is just one of many (albeit the largest) rock slides around the county. The old funny signs that say “Watch for Falling Rock” aren’t so funny anymore as this has become a reality all too often. In fact, many steep cut banks are losing large and small amounts of rock and causing a lot of damage and frustration. With three major highways now closed in East Tennessee due to rock slides it seems that there is sudden rash of land moving south for the winter. Here ares some pictures of the latest rock slide on the Spur:
The cause of this latest wave of rockslides is probably the unusually cold weather we have had recently. With hard freezes comes broken rocks and when the heavy rains followed the very cold weather you have the perfect recipe for moving hillsides. While our landslides aren’t as spectacular as say those in Southern California, they are troublesome none the less. In fact, a friend of mine was hit Monday evening by a 40 foot tree that crashed down on top of him as he was surveying the landslide on the spur. The tree fell when a severe wind storm caused the ground around its root system to fail to hold. This sent our friend and fellow church member Mark Miller to be knocked cold for some time and taken to the UT Hospital’s trauma center where he spent a couple of nights. Fortunately Mark is home this evening and has nothing but a major gash on his head to show for the experience.
My reason for posting this message in our Gatlinburg real estate blog is simply to remind potential buyers that steep topography can cause real issues for property owners. If the road (or driveway) to a property doesn’t look good now it won’t likely ever look better. Private roads and shared driveways are potential disasters for property owners. If a street name ends in “Way” it means that the street is NOT county, city, or state maintained but rather must be maintained by the property owners whose land is served by the road. I have seen far too many privately maintained roads fail to be properly serviced causing a sharp loss of value to all who are impacted by the road’s condition. My suggestion is to be very wary of any property that is served by a road whose name ends in “Way”! Far too many people have purchased Gatlinburg area real estate without being informed of who will bear the maintenance expense of their road. If you want someone looking out for your interests instead of the seller’s please contact us. We will make sure that you are well informed about every aspect of your home purchase here in the Smokies.