HAMILTON COUNTY, TN (WRCB) -
Who said half the fun is getting there?
For travelers trying to reach Raccoon Mountain or north Lookout Valley Thursday afternoon, a boat would have been more apropos. And for those who decided to test the waters on foot, you really needed the waders. "There was a little bit of standing water there, you know, and about 30 minutes later it was like this," said Whitwell's Tom Davidson.
Davidson thought his dump truck would clear the rising water that enveloped the Highway 41 intersection, and that he could dodge a car already partially submerged. He was wrong on both counts, but still could laugh his troubles off. "They were done drowned out, there was another car sitting in front of them," explains Davidson of the scene. " They got the chain and pulled it out. I didn't want to get too close to them to make a wave, and I got too close to the edge of the ditch," snickered Davidson.
"I saw it on the news, three cars and a dump truck! Wow, glad I wasn't in it." But Lookout Valley's Joanna Adams had her close call with the flood waters too, and she didn't have to go very far. "It went over the boundaries of the culverts, got up into the driveway and the yard, maybe six or seven feet, but it ran off pretty quick," says Adams. Run off is the operative word, and while this isn't the first time this area in particular has flooded, many we spoke to have never seen the water get so high.
Trucker Tony Seal of Hancock County, Tennessee was one of the many who had his travel halted by the flash flooding. Seal, a Captain for Sneedville's Search & Rescue squad, says local responders did the right thing, by not trying to pull this partially submerged car out of the water.
"It's unsafe to go into the water, it's best to wait for the water to go down, and in case there are washouts under the road, or the car has an electrical short in it," cautioned Seal, who was less than a mile from his destination, but ended up taking a nearly 40 mile long detour to get to his delivery point.
It's unknown when flood waters will recede to allow the intersection to re-open, but Hamilton County schools are already planning for more overnight rain and traffic trouble in the morning, delaying the start of school by two hours Friday.