Asheville (and Western NC) has seen a lot of rain in 2009. The good news is that the drought we experienced in 2007 and 2008 is gone. The plants and flowers at the Inn did extremely well this year because we have gotten so much rain. I saw a handful of flowers this year I didn’t even know I had because they had never bloomed in the time I’ve had the Inn.
According to the USGS, between January and September this year, our overall average amount of rainfall is approximately 36.3 inches. We have actually gotten 42.6 inches. This doesn’t count the many, many inches we received during October. Average rainfall in October should be just under 2 inches and we got more than that in one day!
All this rain, while good in many ways, has affected roads and highways around Asheville. Road closures in no way should affect travelers’ ability to get to Asheville and its attractions, but being aware of detours will save guests from frustration and headaches.
The two main closures close to Asheville are on I-40 near mile marker 3, just inside North Carolina from Tennessee. There are a couple of detour options for travelers coming from Tennessee. Plan for an extra 30-60 minutes to get around the road closure, depending on what detour option you choose.
The second closure is a short stretch of the Blue Ridge Parkway, just south of Asheville, near Mt. Pisgah. This closure is only about 15 miles long and the detour takes you past some great hiking and waterfall sites.
Both road closures have been blamed on rock slides or potential rock slides caused by excessive rain. However, the bright side is that a little detour may take you through some scenic and beautiful areas. And, there are still plenty of colorful leaves to see along the way. Think of these closures as a small hiccup and they will have no effect on your ability to enjoy your trip to Asheville.