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Ober Gatlinburg will open snow tubing slopes on Friday

Ober Gatlinburg will open snow tubing slopes on Friday

You can hit the slopes of Ober Gatlinburg by the end of the week, but you'll have to travel on a tube instead of skis or boards.

Ober announced Tuesday that it will open its snow tubing season on Friday, November 16.  Officials say it will be the first tubing operation to open in the Southeast this year.

Using new technology, the resort was able to begin making snow on September 21 and plans to operate tubing through Easter.

Record snowfall may have kept some visitors away from Smokies in October

Record snowfall may have kept some visitors away from Smokies in October

The massive snowfall from Superstorm Sandy may have kept some visitors away from the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in October.

The park says visitation was down 1.9% from last October, with 1,112,474 people enjoying the Smokies.  Park officials believe the news reports about the heavy snowfall may have kept some people away.

Helicopter needed to drop supplies to Mt. LeConte after massive snow

Helicopter needed to drop supplies to Mt. LeConte after massive snow

Last week's heavy snowfall in the Smoky Mountains left LeConte Lodge, in the mountains' highest peaks, running low on supplies.

Three to four feet of snow fell in the area, making it impossible for overnight guests to leave and the llama supply train to make the trek up the mountain.

Because supplies were running low, the lodge's general manager, Tim Line, got permission from the park service to allow a helicopter to airflift supplies to the lodge.

Rescued hiker recalls experience in Smokies

Rescued hiker recalls experience in Smokies

A hiker rescued from the snow-swept Smoky Mountains is now recovering at his North Carolina home.

Steven Ainsworth, 56, spoke to affiliate WITN Monday about his experience on the Appalachian Trail.  He had been hiking the trail since June before a storm created four to five-feet high snow drifts on the path.

"One of the most demanding, both physically and mentally, experiences of my life," Ainsworth said.

American Red Cross hosts fundraiser in Knoxville Monday

American Red Cross hosts fundraiser in Knoxville Monday

The American Red Cross is hosting a Hurricane Sandy recovery effort fundraiser at its West Knoxville location on Monday.

The fundraiser drive-thru will be open from 7:00 am until 6:00 pm at its location on 6921 Middlebrook Pike.

The organization is asking for people to drop off monetary donations only.

Some local celebrities will make stops at the drive-thru. The Knoxville Ice Bears' hockey players are scheduled to drop by around 2:00 pm. Pro Bass Master Ott DeFoe will visit with people from 11:30 am until 1:30 pm.

Sandy leaves record snow and silver lining in Smokies

Sandy leaves record snow and silver lining in Smokies

Millions of people in the northeast spent Wednesday salvaging what is left of their homes in the wake of Hurricane Sandy.

East Tennessee was spared the brunt of the devastating storm.  The main impact in our region was record-setting snow in the higher elevations.

Superstorm Sandy brings cold temperatures to Ober Gatlinburg

Superstorm Sandy brings cold temperatures to Ober Gatlinburg

The colder weather brought in from Superstorm Sandy has helped make the man-made snow stick at Ober Gatlinburg.

Since September 21st, Ober has used a product called "snow magic" to create snow for their tubing area.

This is the first year they have used it and the staff is impressed with the more than 50,000 pounds of snow it dumps each day.

The dropping temperatures has helped make sure the snow sticks in order to open up the tubing area earlier than usual this year.