On December 14, 2016 local officials in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, a tourism community nestled in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains, estimated the damage from the wildfires which bullied its way through the town on November 28, 2016, at $500 million dollars.

Larry Waters, the Mayor of Sevier County, who announced the estimate at a news conference, and also made a promise to do a full scale review of the emergency response and see what was done well and what can be done better.

With winds blasting close to 90 MPH, power lines fell like writhing serpents-causing other fires to ignite.

It was a scene out of a disaster movie as citizens fled on foot or by car as the persistent flames closed in.


Damaged or completely destroyed were more than 2,400 buildings, including 2,100 homes. Sixty businesses were also annihilated.

Photo by Lyle Guinn


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