Officials: 'No immediate fix for Hunter Road flooding'
Hamilton County's Emergency Management says there is nothing more they can do to help with flooding in Ooltewah.
In a press conference Tuesday, HCEM director Chris Adams explained the flooding is the result of Mother Nature and the lay of the land these homes sit on.
As far as contamination is concerned, Adams said anytime there is flooding, there will be E. coli in the water.
“It’s something that we are battling and it’s really an act of God that we have no control over,” said Adams.
While the Flagstone subdivision soaks in floodwater, Adams says his team has been brainstorming.
“Our job is to go out and protect people’s lives that’s our main focus,” he said. “We are going to do everything in our power to help.”
“It’s something that we are battling and it’s really an act of God that we have no control over,” Adams said.
One of those solutions includes pumping the floodwater, but Adams says it won't work.
“If we pump it a short distance it comes right back if we pump it a mile or two down the road now we’ve impacting more residents at another location,” Adams continued to explain. “We would have to run those 24 hours a day for two weeks to remove the water if it didn’t rain anymore."
But Adams says even if that did work, they would have nowhere to put six acres of floodwater.
He says he has discussed these challenges with government agencies.
“Anytime you go to TEMA or FEMA there are rules because of course, it goes across the whole nation so that's a complex issue that we let them deal with,” said Adams. “We put GPS coordinates on. We take pictures and then we send into to TEMA. Where it goes from there and how it’s dispersed would be TEMA and FEMA and we're not the experts. I cannot even begin to speak to that.”
TEMA spokesperson Dean Flener told Channel 3 that Hamilton County is one of 54 counties that may receive assistance from FEMA under the State of Emergency Declaration.
It is not clear when FEMA agents will examine Hamilton County, or if Hunter Road would benefit from the aid because it is private property.
While FEMA is not able to immediately assist, Airbnb hosts in the area are jumping into action with the Airbnb Open Homes program.
"TEMA and the State of Tennessee, Airbnb’s Tennessee host community is providing no-cost accommodations to flood and storm survivors who need somewhere to stay while flood waters recede from their homes and neighborhoods," said Flener.
Here’s how the Airbnb Open Homes program works:
- Airbnb has contacted its host community in the impacted area to determine if they have extra to share at no cost with those displace by the flood and severe storms.
- Airbnb hosts who respond list their spaces as free-of-charge and Airbnb waives its fees also.
- All guests and hosts participating in the program will have access to Airbnb’s 24/7 customer support.
- Survivors will need to register with Airbnb and provide a copy of their government issued identification and their credit card numbers for security and background checks before booking. The credit card will not be charged for lodging.
Flood survivors can visit this website to find and book urgent, temporary accommodations in Airbnb’s Open Homes program.