Rhea County Begins Recovery From Sunday Flooding

Reported by: Bill Mitchell

Edited by: Ashley Henderson
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Updated: 5/20/2013 11:55 pm
MORGANTOWN, TN (WDEF)   Residents of the tri-state area are still cleaning-up damage left by flash flooding on Sunday.
No area was hit harder than Morgantown in Rhea county.
Relief agencies began their work Monday.

Things were fine..and then suddenly homes were flooded. That's a story that was told dozens of times, as Rhea county officials joined by Red Cross and Salvation Army teams surveyed the damage in the Morgantown community.
Creeks and streams along Back Valley Road were hit hardest.

KELLY CARAWAY, FLOODED OUT AGAIN "Yesterday I looked outside and I said I think we're going to be fine and it probably wasn't 10 minutes later that I said kids, let's go ..the flooding started coming immediately in the living room and the bedroom."

It's happened to this home 7 times before, but Kelly Caraway and her three children escaped safely.
The creek behind their home is choked with limbs, grass and weeds, and she says a new power substation nearby is contributing to the problem.
She hopes to get help from the county.

Down the road, another home could not escape the damage.

GERALD JUMP, BACK VALLEY ROAD "It come up to about right here ..Might be a little higher..so that was high enough to get in your trailer? Yes...un huh."

PASTOR JEANIE BROWN, RHEA CENTRAL CHURCH OF GOD "Within 15 minutes of letting service out...the waters had overtaken the parking lot."

The church sustained heavy water damage, and a tree fell onto three cars in the parking lot.

These hard-hit areas will need help to recover, and volunteers are asked to call the Rhea county executive's office.

GEORGE THACKER, RHEA CO. EXECUTIVE "I think they need to bring some boots, gloves, and just be prepared to pickup blocks, debris..all kinds of things..carpet that needs to be pulled."

Rhea County EMA director Jacky Reavley tells us most of the danger from high water is over, but the road to recovery for some will be long and difficult.
Teams from the Salvation Army and the Red Cross went door-to-door Monday assessing damage and individual needs of families in the stricken area.
To volunteer or contribute to the fund, call the Rhea county Executive's office at 423-775-7801.

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