Recovery begins as rains help put out Tennessee wildfires

AP , Thursday 1 Dec 2016

The death toll from wildfires blazing in and around the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in Tennessee rose to seven on Wednesday even as drenching rains helped firefighters suppress flames that have left whole neighborhoods in ruins. (Reuters PHoto)

 After nearly 24 hours of drenching rain helped quench a series of devastating wildfires in eastern Tennessee, local officials began turning to cleanup and recovery efforts.

Gatlinburg Mayor Mike Werner said officials were discussing the possibility of re-opening the town Friday, which would give business owners and residents their first look at the damage in a city that's been closed since Monday night.

Werner was one of several city officials managing the crisis while dealing with personal losses. He lost his home and his business.

Officials discovered three more bodies Wednesday, raising the death toll to seven. Three other people who had been trapped since the wildfires began were rescued.

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