National Park Service employees operate machinery as they clear debris from winter storms at the Loft Mountain campground in Crozet, Virginia. (Photo Credit: AP)

By The Associated Press

CROZET—Crews are finally digging out a 40-mile stretch of Virginia’s scenic Skyline Drive after a series of winter storms closed it for more than four months.

Shenandoah National Park spokeswoman Sally Hurlbert said Wednesday that the southern portion of the road should be open by early April.

Skyline Drive is the park’s only public road, winding along the Appalachian Mountains in western Virginia for more than 100 miles.

The closure was one of the longest in decades after ice storms pounded the region’s Blue Ridge Mountains. The five-week partial government shutdown only delayed the cleanup.

The road is closed from near Elkton to where it ends in the south near Waynesboro.

People can still access to the park’s southern portion through entranceways on the park’s boundaries.

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