Region hit with widespread flooding during heavy rains

Johnson City Press • Updated Feb 6, 2020 at 8:15 PM

Residents on Miami Drive were shocked to find extensive flooding throughout their neighborhood during Thursday’s wet weather. Several homes were threatened by rising water from Sinking Creek.

The National Weather Service issued a flood warning after sporadic flooding throughout Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia.

Residents were advised to avoid driving through floodwaters and move to higher ground in case of flash flooding. Residents were also told to avoid parking near streams, rivers and creeks during the heavy rainfall.

A Johnson City sewer overflowed from a manhole into Sinking Creek off the 200 block of Sinking Creek Road. A city spokeswoman said officials had notified the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation.

“TDEC has been in communication with the city regarding an overflow at that location,” TDEC spokeswoman Kim Schofinski said in an email to the Press. “The city is required to submit a detailed report of the incident to TDEC within five days. I suggest contacting the city directly for information regarding their response to the situation.”

Washington County Schools dismissed four hours early because of hazardous conditions on some county roads.

Washington County Highway Superintendent John B. Deakins said parts of as many as eight roads have been closed as a result of floodwaters. Many, he said, are areas that are regularly prone to flooding. They include several in the Bowmantown community, as well as Dean Archer Road and Oakland Road in Telford.

Deakins said floodwaters in many areas were receding by noon on Thursday.

“We've had 3 inches of rain since late Wednesday,” Deakins said Thursday afternoon. “Most of it came last night. Our crews are out removing debris and leaves from stormwater tiles.”

Facebook users reported flooding at:

• Big Valley Trailer Park in Johnson City;

• Mary Street in Johnson City;

• Sinking Creek Road behind East Tennessee State University;

• Flourville Road Boones Creek;

• Milligan Highway;

• Gray Station Road;

• Tenn. Highway 81 between Jonesborough and Erwin;

• West College Street and Greenlee Drive in Jonesborough;

• Bob Jobe Road off Eastern Star in Gray;

• Highland Church Road, Corby Bridge Road and Clark's Creek Road in Washington County;

• Taylor Avenue in Elizabethton;

• Stoney Creek in Carter County;

• Marbleton Road in Unicoi;

• Deacons Creek Road in Erwin;

• Tenn. Highway 352 in Flag Pond;

• Sulphur Springs;

• Telford;

• Big Arm Road and Sigman Hollow Road in Bluff City;

• Shadrack Campground and Paperville Road in Bristol;

• Guntown Road and Phipps Road in Hawkins County; and

• Horton Highway and Baileyton Road in Greeneville.

Two dozen homes at Big Valley Trailer Park, off Bristol Highway, were being threatened by the rising water of Knob Creek. Johnson City District Fire Chief Marcus Beasley said at least six residents were sent to seek shelter elsewhere.

The area was closed, but fire and police officials remained on scene to assist other residents as they arrived home or as they decided to leave for higher ground.

“There are 25 structures on the low side of the creek and those are the ones we’re most concerned with,” Beasley said as the creek swept by. “We went to every structure to advised the residents of the possible situation,” of continued flooding.

Some areas in Southwest Virginia had been declared disaster areas and/or were being evacuated. Flood warnings throughout the region were in effect until 7 p.m. Thursday.

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