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Carter roads opened after Thursday flooding

John Thompson • Updated Feb 7, 2020 at 10:17 PM

ELIZABETHTON — The Carter County Highway Department continued to work on Friday, not only clearing roads from Thursday’s flooding, but also clearing snow from roads at higher elevations.

At the end of a long day on Friday, Highway Superintendent Roger Colbaugh said he was pleased with the results.

All the roads that had to be closed on Thursday are now back open, said Colbaugh. That included the Stoney Creek Highway, which was worked on by the Tennessee Department of Transportation.

The Stoney Creek Highway, Tenn. Highway 91, was the biggest highway that had to be closed because of the flooding. The section that was closed was around the 700 block, where traffic was detoured onto Blue Springs Highway.

The Tennessee Department of Transportation assigned several crews to lowering water levels on the 5-lane highway.

“They reopened it around 9 a.m.,” said Colbaugh. As someone who lives in Stoney Creek and had two use a detour driving home on Thursday night and driving back to work at 6 a.m. Friday, Colbaugh said he was very glad the highway is back open.

The Stoney Creek area was also a busy area for the road crews from the Carter County Highway Department and those crews were as successful as TDOT in getting their roads open in the area.

Colbaugh said Creekbank Road, the first road that the country closed on Thursday, was reopened on Friday. Grindstaff Hollow was another area where water was running down the road on Thursday, Colbaugh said. The waters have since receded.

Colbaugh said he was worried when he work up at 2 a.m. Friday morning and heard it was raining heavily. He said that storm must not have been too substantial because water levels continued to fall through the night.

The biggest drop in water level was on Gap Creek, where it crosses the Gap Creek Highway near a residence. Colbaugh said at one point the water was at the level of the floor joists of the residence.

One Stoney Creek project that will need to be completed next week is in Dry Hollow. A tile will be replaced early next week.

In addition to repairing flood damage, Colbaugh said his workers also traveled throughout the county, picking up debris on the roads that had been deposited by steoremwaters.

In addition to all these tasks, Colbaugh said he had to send crews to the higher elevations to run snowplows over roads covered in snow and ice.

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