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Carter reports over $1 million in damage from February flood

John Thompson • Mar 5, 2019 at 11:11 PM

ELIZABETHTON — The widespread flooding on Feb. 24 resulted in over $1 million in damage in Carter County, according to an initial damage assessment and windshield survey conducted by Carter County Mayor Rusty Barnett and Cater County Emergency Management Agency personnel Gary Smith and Billy Harrell.

The figures are an estimate. The value of the damaged homes is not yet known and the cost of completing repairs to infrastructure is not definite.

Smith said the initial assessment will be sent immediately to the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency in order to get the state’s emergency relief operation started for Carter County.

The floodwaters impacted nearly all sections of Carter County, from Little Milligan to Watauga and were caused by steady rains continuing to fall on ground that was already saturated and streams that were already swollen from several previous days of rain.

The assessment of the damage includes 78 homes from across the county that were damaged from floods. Another 20 apartments sustained damage. Only two of the homes were reported to have sustained major damage. Major damage means that the home sustained damage from 3-5 feet of water.

One of those with major damage was a manufactured home next to Gap Creek on Gap Creek Road. The other was a house on Dalewood Drive that sustained 4 feet of water in the basement.

The county reported 16 more homes and five apartment units sustained minor damage, classified as being exposed to 1-3 feet of water.

The remaining 60 homes and 15 apartment units were classified as affected by the flood by exposure to a foot or less of floodwater.

Three public buildings and three businesses also had damage from the flood waters. The estimated cost of the damage to the public buildings is $7,200.

The worst damage to infrastructure, according to the assessment, was roads. The Carter County Highway Department estimated the damage to its roads to be $650,000. Carter County Emergency Management Agency Director Gary Smith said some of the worst damage was to Riverview, Andrew Finney Road and Oscar Banks Road.

Damage to the baseball and softball fields at Happy Valley High School was set at $100,000.

Damage to utilities was estimated at $55,050.

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