GATLINBURG (WATE) – Tennessee Emergency Management Agency reported that Ober Gatlinburg was reportedly entirely destroyed, but a spokesperson from Ober Gatlinburg said they are okay and the animals are safe.
“A video posted on Ober Gatlinburg appears to show the facility is OK this morning. We received on-the-ground reports last night and early this morning indicating the facility was destroyed. We are relieved to know this important Tennessee destination is still there,” said TEMA in a statement.
Kate Barido with Ober Gatlinburg said a man who is a shop owner on the mountain posted a video Tuesday morning showing the ski lodge. Barido said several people tried to evacuate, but got stuck on Ski Mountain Road in Gatlinburg.
“He went back up and our first lot there at the top is actually a safe zone where they stage firetrucks and we had some evacuees actually stay the night in the mall,” said Barido. “Our structure is safe and we have plenty of space around the trees and a lot of our structure is made from steel, so that really set us up to be okay. We’re just really thankful for all the people out there working right now.”
Barido said they do know that the structure in Downtown Gatlinburg is still standing, but they don’t know anything else. She said they are just waiting for people to be allowed back into Gatlinburg so they can assess the damage.
“I actually live on Gatlinburg in the Spur and we evacuated last night at 7:00 p.m. and it was absolute chaos as far as getting off with the traffic and it was basically wild,” said Barido. “I don’t know what else to say, but we had so many emergency people out from different counties really working hard to help us out here. It is really amazing how people come together in these horrible situations.”
Now staying with some friends, Barido said her family is safe.