CHATTANOOGA (WRCB) -- Excess rainfall flowing off Signal Mountain across Suck Creek Road Thursday night washed right onto Joanne Stabile's property along the Tennessee River.
It's happened before, she says, but not like this.
"It was like a mini Niagara Falls out there," says the native New Yorker describing the scene.
She's lived in the home for 24 years.
"It's the worst I've ever seen coming from the runoff," Stabile says.
Inch by inch, eventually up to three feet high says Stabile, she could see more of her land being washed away from the raging water.
To her relief, Channel 3 placed a call to Chattanooga Public Works Department, who had already been notified of the situation.
Crews arrived late in the evening to contain the waterfall.
"If nothing else the sandbags at least helped reroute some of the storm water that was coming off the mountain," Stabile says.
According to Public Works, around 150 to 200 sandbags were used.
Stabile is worried about a tree next to her house. Its root system runs under the house and the ground surrounding the roots at the base of the tree is eroding.
Another heavy rain followed by a strong wind gust from the wrong direction could spell disaster. She says foundation problems are a concern, too, and wants a long-term resolution figured out.
"I just don't want to end up in Nickajack," Stabile says as she chuckles.
According to Lee Norris, Deputy Administrator of Public Works, the clogged pipe causing the backup had been cleaned out numerous times since last spring.
It continues to trap rocks and sediment, following hard or constant rains.
Norris offers permanent solutions, which he says, should alleviate future flooding.
"We'll put a debris screen over the upside of it, the uphill side of it, to catch debris coming off the mountain," says Norris.
Additional piping will also be installed at a shallower depth than the existing pipe.
"It will act as an overflow if for some reason the lower pipe gets blocked," explains Norris. "The water will rise and then eventually enter into the upper level pipe."
It could finally bring peace of mind to Stabile who only wants the department to cut the problem off at the pass and help restore her property if possible.
"Just fix what's been messed up," she says. "I'm not asking for anything more than that."
Norris says the work order for the project has been written up and he expects work to begin next week.
It should take around a week to complete. Norris also sent an engineer Friday afternoon to talk to Stabile about the project and the concerns for her property.
If you plan on taking a leisurely stroll to burn off your Thanksgiving meal, think again!
900 Whitehall Road
Chattanooga, TN 37405
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