District 1 gets wet kiss from Cindy



District 1 Commissioner Allen Armstrong surveys the damage on Mountain Trail, which washed out Saturday morning. Major repair included replacing the rusted pipe with a 60-foot, 60-inch diameter plastic pipe and refilling the trench with fill material with a crusher run surface, making it passable to vehicles until the trench can be repaved after it settles for a few months. The repair was completed Tuesday.

District 1 Commissioner Allen Armstrong surveys the damage on Mountain Trail, which washed out Saturday morning. Major repair included replacing the rusted pipe with a 60-foot, 60-inch diameter plastic pipe and refilling the trench with fill material with a crusher run surface, making it passable to vehicles until the trench can be repaved after it settles for a few months. The repair was completed Tuesday.

District 1, covering the western-most part of Blount County, got a belated wet memento from the remnants of Tropical Storm Cindy Saturday after the remainder of the county had concluded that the expected excitement was already over.

Beginning around 4 a.m. and lasting for several hours, it rained cats, dogs, and frogs until the middle of the morning, unofficially totaling well over 4 inches for what was expected to be – and was – the dregs of the storm for the rest of the county. The total for the entire three-day event – 4.16” at the official 911 weather gauge in Oneonta – failed to equal Cindy’s exuberant farewell to the Hayden area.

Creeks and streams responded by overflowing with equal exuberance, prompting this all points message at 8:34 a.m. from District 1 Commissioner Allen Armstrong: “District 1 Commissioner has deemed all roads in his district impassable due to the number of roads under water.”

C’mon man! Are you serious? All roads impassable? Wrong question to ask. It triggered an exasperated roll call by Armstrong: “Highway 31 – closed, High- way 160 at Old Hayden Road – closed, Red Oak, Moss Rock Circle, Mountain Trail, Mountain Woods Lake Road – all closed. I could keep calling ‘em out…I bet there were 30 or 40 some-odd all told,” Armstrong said. The damage report

No bridges were lost – but a load of 100-pound rocks used to buttress a bridge abutment were washed away – and a number of roads sustained washouts, with one total washout of Mountain Trail and the better part of a dozen different places where shoulders were washed away, Armstrong said. The District 1 crew spent a 12-hour day working on the worst of the washouts, he added.

A preliminary view, pending Armstrong’s concurrence, is that it was a relatively sudden, transient event. Reports to 911 of trees down and roads flooded began to drop off sharply by mid-day Saturday: a classic flash flood phenomenon. At 1:24 p.m. Armstrong issued what amounted to an all-clear, noting that while a portion of Mountain Trail was still blocked, all other roads were passable. The road crew continued working until 6:30 p.m. anyway.

Elsewhere in the county, commissioners reported only minor road flooding and blockage by fallen trees.

911 recorded 65 calls over the three-day period to report trees down, lines down, roads flooded, and traffic accidents, though not all accidents reported were weather-related. Here’s a breakdown, by type of call and by district.

By type:
• Downed tree: . . . . . . . . . . . . .30
• Downed wire: . . . . . . . . . . . . . .5
• Flooding/water in the road . .9
• Wrecks w/injury . . . . . . . . . . .10
• Wrecks, no injury . . . . . . . . . . .8
• Debris/road hazard . . . . . . . .3
By district:
• District 1 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .31*
• District 2 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .13
• District 3 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .16
• District 4 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .5

20 of the 25 weather-related calls made to 911 after 6

a.m. Saturday morning were from the District 1 area.