Big rain creates big problems

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By Cindy Simpson

A deluge of rainfall and thunderstorms over a course of several days last week and through the weekend left the ground saturated and resulted in power outages around the county.
“Our guys have worked around the clock since Thursday,” said Tony Brown, assistant to Roane County Road Superintendent Dennis Ferguson.
“The biggest thing we had was trees falling across power lines and roads.”


Airport Road, which was already closed because of sliding, suffered more because of the heavy rain.
“We had a road we have to repair that washed out — Eagle Furnace Road. It took a couple of dump trucks of rocks,” Brown said.
Now road crews are working to remove debris left behind from hurried work to remove the trees from power lines and roadways.
Brown estimates the cost is $32,000 in overtime, equipment and landfill charges.
He said the utilities and volunteer fire departments partnered well with the highway department on the work. The Roane Emergency Operation Center was also opened during the storms.
Brown said he’s worried what the saturated ground could mean if more bad weather comes.
“The ground is so saturated now if we get
any kind of wind we won’t be able to take it,” he said.
Utilities around Roane County had outages.
South of the River utility service provider Volunteer Energy Cooperative had several outages starting Thursday and culminating Sunday.
A total of around 1,200 were impacted by the outages, with an estimated 400 of those customers out around four hours when a tree broke a cross arm on Hwy. 58 on Saturday.