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Unicoi sees damage to homes; several roads remain closed

August 6th, 2012 10:13 pm by Brad Hicks

Unicoi sees damage to homes; several roads remain closed

Several Unicoi County roads remained closed Monday following floods brought on by Sunday’s heavy rains.
Unicoi County Sheriff Mike Hensley said he spent Sunday evening and Monday morning assessing damage throughout the county. Hensley said Monday afternoon that several of the county’s roads had been washed out by flood conditions and that Pippin Hollow Road, Harris Hollow Road, Nelson Hollow Road, a portion of Massachusetts Avenue in Unicoi and several private roads were remained closed due to damage.
“It was just a slow-moving storm that came up quick and was just a downpour,” Hensley said.
Sunday, several residents in the Harris Hollow, Pippin Hollow and Nelson Hollow areas were evacuated and Unicoi Drive was closed. Hensley said the northern end of the county, and in particular, hollows along Buffalo Mountain were hit hardest by high waters.
“That’s where most of the water came from,” Hensley said.
Hensley said he pleased by the response from officers within his department and the Tennessee Highway Patrol’s strike team and troopers called in to assist. Hensley said while some around the county experienced property damage, no injuries were reported as a result of Sunday’s storms.
“I’m just glad everybody got the job done and nobody was hurt,” Hensley said.
Erwin Police Chief Regan Tilson said Monday afternoon that Sunday’s flooding hit the northern end of town the hardest. This followed flooding experienced in downtown Erwin on Friday evening that was also brought on by heavy rainfall. Tilson said several roads, including Rex Lewis Road and North Elm Avenue, were closed and several property owners’ homes were damaged. He also said no injuries were reported in Erwin.
Tilson said the town’s Public Works personnel worked through the weekend, cleaning ditches and drains to ensure that water could flow more freely and to prepare for more heavy rainfall.
“It looks like we’re headed for another round, depending on how the weather does today,” Tilson said Monday afternoon.
Unicoi County Emergency Management Director Ed Herndon said between five and six inches fell in Unicoi County on Sunday. On Monday, Herndon and two representatives with the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency traveled around the county to assess property damage. Herndon said the estimated damage as of Monday afternoon was around $235,000, with most of the damage being to the county roadways.
Herndon said county residents who have experienced property damage are asked to call the Unicoi County Mayor’s office at 743-9391.

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