Johnson City Press Wednesday, July 30, 2014
Local News

Region deluged by rain; damage forces Johnson City schools to close

August 5th, 2012 8:09 pm by Staff Report

Region deluged by rain; damage forces Johnson City schools to close

Heavy evening rains Sunday flooded several areas of Northeast Tennessee, including downtown Johnson City and numerous sections of Washington, Carter and Unicoi counties.
Johnson City police advised residents to postpone local travel, saying many roads were impassable. Police were working to free stranded motorists in flooded areas. There were some reports of people stranded in homes.
Emergency crews were navigating through downtown waters in inflatable boats in an attempt to reach people trapped by the floods.
There were widespread reports of flooding along numerous city streets, including East and West Unaka Avenue, Austin Springs Road at Oakland Avenue, State of Franklin Road at University Parkway and other areas around East Tennessee State University. Downtown streets were deluged with water. Sections of Buffalo Street and both Main and Market Streets were impassable, and some downtown businesses were flooded. Flooded downtown creeks also swept through the area around the Carver housing development.
Creeks overflowing their banks in the Dry Creek area of southern Washington County struck several residences, including a report of a mobile home where people were surrounded by swift water. Some locations in Dry Creek were inaccessible. An emergency shelter was established at Lamar School.
Johnson City School System officials announced that the scheduled start of the school year on Monday had been postponed because of storm damage. The city of Johnson City's garage complex also flooded, including the school bus and transit system lot, where several buses were under water.
The city canceled transit service for Monday because of the damage.
The Mall at Johnson City's parking lot was covered by high water, stranding numerous vehicles.
Areas along Milligan Highway had high water, including the intersection at Miller Street, as well as Toll Branch Road behind Milligan College, according to comments on Johnson City Press' Facebook page.
Facebook visitors reported that the Watauga River had flooded its banks on the Watauga end of Riverview Drive in Johnson City. The road was impassable. Damage was reported at Silver Creek Apartments off Lakeview Drive, where a creek winding through the complex flooded. South Greenwood Drive at Lone Oak Road was covered by high water, and a house there was reportedly surrounded by water. Carmel Village mobile home park had about five feet of standing water.
Areas of Elizabethton were flooded, as well, including businesses along West Elk Avenue. Further north, flooding was reported along Carroll Creek Road.
Unicoi County residents experienced flooding, as well, including along Massachusetts Avenue and Laughren Road in Unicoi and Fanning Avenue in Erwin, according to Facebook visitors.
Flooded basements, roof leaks, apartment, business and home damages and other storm-related woes were widely reported in the area.
The Johnson City Power Board reported around 8:45 p.m. that about 4,000 customers were without power, mainly in Johnson City. All outages were isolated, except near Lamar where a crew was working to restore a breaker.
The Power Board reported that the Dry Creek/Arnold Road area would remain without electrical service through the night at the request of emergency officials. Rescuers reported that a house was floating near power lines, so power remained off for safety.
Keep visiting JohnsonCityPress.com and read Monday's print edition for further details.

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