Residents Get First Look At Wildfire Rubble

Posted at 3:10 PM, Dec 03, 2016
and last updated 2016-12-03 16:10:17-05

Gatlinburg residents and business owners have had their first look at the wildfire destruction, and many walked around the once-bustling city in a daze, sobbing.

As people were allowed into the city Friday, Sevier County Mayor Larry Waters raised the death toll to 13 and said the number of damaged buildings now approached 1,000.

He also defended the response to the wildfires that spread rapidly Monday, saying it was not the time for "Monday morning quarterbacking." He promised a full review later.

On the first day officials let property owners return to assess the damage from the wildfire that devastated their homes, the eastern Tennessee tourist destination faced an uncertain future.