South Pittsburg police lose half its fleet in flood - | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

South Pittsburg police lose half its fleet in flood

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South Pittsburg police chief Dale Winters takes his daily patrol through town.

He's been working a little more than usual with less cars after the town was flooded a week ago.

The department lost half its fleet, down to four from eight, due to water damage, and the remaining cars don't get much of a break.

"I would hate to have one and it break down before you get to the call and then you can't get there," Winters says.

Wednesday adjusters were out, but most of the news wasn't good.

Winters says he could get them fixed now, but more issues would likely follow. At times auto mechanics are too busy and inmate work is the only option.

Winters took our camera by the local elementary school where the flood did thousands of dollars in damages.

A bobcat tears off the floor board of the gym that was just replaced earlier this year.

Other officers follow his lead and have to double up in the high mileage fleet.

"It is abuse on the vehicle, but we are glad we haven't lost anymore."

Winters is hopeful. Marion County Sheriff Bo Burnett is expecting a new fleet soon and is looking to give South Pittsburg some of the old fleet.

A cruiser can costs in excess of $40,000 and right now the money is focusing on flood recovery. At this point, anything helps.

"When he gets those new cars, he says we are more than welcomed to any those old ones," Winters says.

The city is looking to get a grant for new vehicles.

Winters says neighboring agencies have offered to lend patrol cars if they are needed.

The city has a contribution fund to storm damage set up at Citizens State Bank on S. Cedar street.

You can call (423)837-2150 for information.

If you have damage to report or would like to request help call (423) 486-2151

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