More than 30 agencies and 125 people continued the search Saturday for a City of Cincinnati worker who has been lost in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park since Tuesday.
Helicopters, multiple canine teams, and specialized search and rescue drones are assisting in the search for 53-year-old Mitzi “Susie” Clements of Cleves, Ohio, who was reported missing after becoming separated from her daughter while hiking near Clingmans Dome.
Weather conditions Saturday helped searchers. The search has been hampered by rain, fog, wind and temperatures in the 40s over the last several days in this mountainous area of the park straddling Tennessee and North Carolina.
Sunday’s forecast calls for partly to mostly cloudy skies with a high of 74 degrees in the park. Thunderstorms are likely in the afternoon.
Clingmans Dome Road was closed Thursday for the search effort. The Clingmans Dome parking area is being used as a field “incident command post” to manage the search. Tents and self-contained mobile command busses have been set up there.
Verizon has brought in a portable cell tower.
The seven-mile closed road has been used as a landing zone for aircraft assisting the search. Clingmans Dome Road remains closed.
Additional volunteer searchers are not being sought, the National Park Service said, because the search operation is limited to “trained searchers to enable a systematic, thorough search of the area,” according to a news release.
“This is unforgiving terrain, and we are working long hours to find Ms. Clements,” said Jared St. Clair, acting chief ranger for the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. “We are extremely grateful for the rapid response by so many well-trained personnel and the generous support resources that our cooperators have dedicated to this search.”
Clements was last seen on the Forney Ridge Trail approximately a quarter mile from Andrews Bald on Tuesday at 5 p.m., according to the Park Service. She was wearing a green zip-up sweater, black workout pants over black leggings, a clear rain poncho, and white tennis shoes with purple laces.
Anyone who saw Clements in the Smokies is asked to contact the National Park Service Investigative Services Branch at 1-888-653-0009 at www.nps.gov/isb by clicking “submit a tip,” or via by sending a message on Facebook at “InvestigativeServicesNPS,” or Twitter @SpecialAgentNPS.
Assisting in the search are: Backcountry Unit Search and Rescue, Black Diamond Search and Rescue, Blount County Rescue Squad, Blount County Special Operations Response Team, Blue and Gray Search and Rescue Dogs, Buncombe County Rescue Squad, Catons Chapel-Richardson Cove Volunteer Fire Department, Cherokee Indian Police Department, Cherokee Tribal EMS, Gatlinburg Police Department, Henderson County Rescue Squad and EMS, Jackson County Sheriff’s Office, Knox County Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, Knoxville-Knox County Emergency Management Agency, Maryville Police Department, North Carolina Emergency Management Agency, Northview Kodak Fire Department, Pigeon Forge Police Department, Sevier County Emergency Management Agency, Sevier County Volunteer Rescue Squad, Sevier County Sheriff’s Office, Sevierville Police Department, Southwest Virginia Mountain Rescue Group, Seymour Volunteer Fire Department, Smoky Mountain Nordic Ski Patrol, Smoky Mountain Search and Rescue Team, Swain County Emergency Management Agency, Swain County Rescue Squad, Swain County Sheriff’s Office, Tennessee Emergency Management Agency, and Walden’s Creek Volunteer Fire Department.
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