Flood toll last week


River Road washed out during last weeks’ rain. -Town of Highland Lake | Facebook

River Road washed out during last weeks’ rain. -Town of Highland Lake | Facebook

Rain gauges at several locations around Blount County recorded totals in the 4.2- to 5- inch range for the period 7 a.m. Wednesday to 7 a.m. Thursday. Then it continued to rain until early afternoon Thursday. The gauge at Blount County 911 recorded 2.36 inches Wednesday and 2.86 inches Thursday for a total of 5.19 inches of rain for the two days.

Reports from the public of local flooding and trees and limbs down began late Wednesday night and continued into the morning Thursday – for a total of 96 reports during the worst of the rain event.

Impacts seemed limited mainly to road, shoulder, and culvert pipe washouts, which were numerous, but with no injuries, emergencies, or major property damage reflected in 911 reports or by county commissioners. Emergency Management Agency director Don Roybal confirmed no injuries or major property damage reported during the event.

Districts 3 and 4 appeared to suffer the most flooding- related road and culvert damage with 25 significant repair incidents between the two – 12 locations reported by Commissioner Dean Calvert for District 3, and 13 by Commissioner Nick Washburn for District 4.

District 3 roads with reported repairs included: Trestle Road, River Road, Blakely Road, Rogers Road, Saddleclub Road, Smith Road, County Road 39, Hood Road, Covered Bridge Circle, Dugan Road and County Road 42.

District 4 roads with reported repairs included: House Road, Phillips Road, Deans Ferry Road, Waterfowl Drive, Red Valley Road, Ebell Road, Mountain Gap Road, Cold Branch Road, Elmer Dempsey Road, Self Road, King Road, Spunky Hollow Road, and Tawbush Road.

District 2 Commissioner Mike Painter reported repair work on about 20 road locations with six roads closed, although only one – Cold Branch Cutoff Road – remained closed on Friday. Roads closed for temporary repairs included: Hamilton Mountain near Ala 79, County Road 30, and Beavers Road, although a number of roads were temporarily impassable due to high water during the morning hours Thursday, Painter said. Permanent repairs will be made on a number of those repaired temporarily, as time permits, he said.

District 3 Commissioner Allen Armstrong reported somewhat lighter impact, with three roads under water, and several culvert washouts and other calls to remove branches, fallen trees, and repair washouts on dirt roads. One lake overflowed, causing washout of a section of a nearby road. Flooded roads included Ricetown Road, Sleepy Hollow Road, and the Jefferson County portion of Sibleyville Road, just across the Blount County line.