FORT BLACKMORE, Va. (WJHL/WFXR) — The U.S. Forestry Service has closed the Devil’s Bathtub Trail for Monday after all 20 stranded hikers were rescued.
According to the Fort Blackmore Volunteer Fire Department, the forestry service has closed the trail after all 20 hikers were rescued and accounted for.
The closure is just in place for the remainder of Memorial Day as of 10:40 a.m., according to Fort Blackmore Volunteer Fire Department.
All of the stranded hikers at the Devil’s Bathtub were rescued just before 10 a.m. Monday, May 25 according to the Duffield Volunteer Fire and Rescue.
Chief Roger Carter of Duffield Volunteer Fire and Rescue said that one rescued hiker has mild hypothermia and one may have a twisted knee.
Carter told News Channel 11 that there were conflicting numbers originally reported — first 12, then 20 — but 20 hikers in total were stranded in the area.
Carter said rescuers had to make their way into the Bathtub area by an alternative route, as the normal route is too treacherous at the moment due to floodwaters. Rescuers entered the area by going over the top of the route and through the brush.
Around 8:15 a.m. on Monday, Carter said a son was able to make his way down and informed rescuers that his mother and sister are a part of the then-seven hikers still stranded.
Rescuers have warned people to stay out of the region as it is inaccessible due to high water. In fact, Fort Blackmore Volunteer Fire Department said Sunday’s thunderstorms in the Devil’s Bathtub area caused the surrounding creeks to rise, resulting in 20 stranded hikers in different locations on the trail.
The Bristol Virginia Professional Fire Fighters Association also sent personnel up to the Devil’s Bathtub to assist after rising and swift waters complicated rescue efforts.
According to a post from the association, Virginia Task Force 4 is responding to the trail on Monday morning to assist due to the rising flood waters.
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