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Carter Highway Committee hears about flood problems, repairs

John Thompson • Mar 7, 2019 at 9:37 PM

ELIZABETHTON — A large group of residents of Warrior Lane attended Thursday’s meeting of the Carter County Commission’s Highway Committee to express their concern over the lack of drainage ditches and culverts in the neighborhood.

The residents said the problem has become especially bad during the recent flooding in Carter County, but spokesman Ed Jordan said the problems also affect the area during day seasons.

The landscape is nearly as flat as Lynn Valley, another area of Carter County which has poor drainage and few drainage channels. Unlike Lynn Valley, Warrior Lane does have two streams that could possibly be used to help drain the neighborhood. Those channels are Buffalo Creek and Toll Branch.

Jordan said the residents realize the Highway Department is extremely busy right now with the effects of the recent flooding, but asked that sometime in the future that Warrior Lane be inspected and plans made to make repairs and improvements. It was suggested that some residents might need to grant a small bit of property for a wider county right of way on some narrow portions of the road.

The Highway Department will mark the portions of land that should be granted to the county.

Another group of citizens from Gap Creek Road also came to discuss problems from the recent flooding. Patsy Johnson said there were three small culverts that failed to carry the flow of water from Gap Creek during the Saturday, Feb. 23, flood. Another resident said his basement had 4 feet of water in it as a result of the flooding.

Road Superintendent Roger Colbaugh gave a report on damage to the roads from the recent flooding. He said the worst damage was to Riverview Road, where the road has been splitting down the middle and the side toward the Doe River is sliding away from the other part of the road. He said he has placed barrels to close the dangerous section, but said the barrels are sometimes moved out of the way.

Colbaugh provided a list of flood repair projects the Highway Department has worked on, going back a month before the February flood during the extremely wet winter. Those include placing 62 tons of rip-rap and also ditching on Heaton Branch Road on Feb. 4; ditching on Smith Branch Road on Feb. 14; repairing washouts at Simerly Creek and Rittertwon roads, Southside and Siam roads, and Blue Springs and Wilbur Dam roads on Feb. 23. Debris was removed from Milligan Road and off of Tenn. Highway 67 on Feb. 23.

On Feb. 24, ditching was done on the roads off U.S. Highway 321, Blue Springs Road, Siam Road, Bear Cage Road, Fork Mountain Road and Toll Branch Road.

On Feb. 25, ditching was done on Alf Taylor Road, Jenkins Hollow Road, Gap Creek Road, roads off Tenn. Highway 91, Oliver Hollow Road, Hazelwood Hollow Road and Spring Street.

On Feb. 26, the department repaired a cave-in on Rock House Road.

There have been several other days of ditching reported since then.

Supplies have started coming in, including large pipe, which were installed at critical locations around the county on Thursday.

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