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Heavy rains cause flash flooding

  • A Johnston City resident watched Saturday evening as floodwaters rushed through a three-block area of east Broadway, surrounding his home.

    A Johnston City resident watched Saturday evening as floodwaters rushed through a three-block area of east Broadway, surrounding his home.
    Holly Kee photo

  • The parking area behind the Johnston City City Hall and Police Department looked more like a fishing hole as heavy rains on Saturday caused flooding.  Mayor Jim Mitchell said he had never seen that area flood.

    The parking area behind the Johnston City City Hall and Police Department looked more like a fishing hole as heavy rains on Saturday caused flooding. Mayor Jim Mitchell said he had never seen that area flood.
    Holly Kee photo

  • Water covered the road at the Intersection of South Buchanan and Dennison streets in Marion.

    Water covered the road at the Intersection of South Buchanan and Dennison streets in Marion.
    Tim Petrowich photo

 
BY JOHN HOMAN AND HOLLY KEE
jhoman@localsouthernnews.com hkee@localsouthernnews.com
updated: 2/27/2018 5:49 PM

WILLIAMSON COUNTY -- Marion street superintendent Doug Phillips said there was no excessive flooding in the city as the result of Saturday's heavy rains. But that doesn't mean there weren't some trouble spots.

"We had some water backed up on South Market Street and Old Creal Springs Road, for example, which didn't subside until Sunday afternoon," Phillips said. "We also had some problems at Ashley Park, Picket Lane down by Small's Grocery and West Main Street out near the Refuge, but the problems didn't last long."

Phillips said advance work by employees in clearing debris from creeks and ditches made the flow of water drain into the storm sewer system much swifter and more manageable.

"Removing that debris made a big difference," he said. "I don't know how many truckloads we cleared out before the storm. Our guys were busy with rakes and pitchforks. And to my knowledge, there have been no reports of homes flooding."

In Johnston City as the fire department served up chili to those brave enough to venture through the heavy rains early Saturday evening, the cellphones began ringing.

"I have a feeling we're going to be here all night," said Tricia Smith, as she began looking for a friend to care for her two children.

Smith is a volunteer firefighter for Johnston City.

Chief Tom Burton was on the phone with officials in the city's street department that were out in the rains putting up barricades where several areas of the city had flooded.

"We're already getting multiple reports of flooding," said Burton. "My best advice is the same as always," he said, "turn around, don't drown."

The National Weather Service in Paducah had issued flash flood watches and warnings earlier in the day.

Mayor Jim Mitchell said on Sunday that Johnston City and the surrounding communities escaped the brunt of the storms that moved through the area.

"West Frankfort was flooded and they were bringing people out by boat in Herrin," he said, "but we were relatively lucky here. Kentucky got hit really hard."

Mitchell said he was in constant contact with his street department and other city officials. "Every one of our lift stations were at capacity."

City workers scrambled to place barricades in several spots throughout the city where floodwaters rose quickly. Many of the same areas that flooded heavily last spring were again seeing rising water.

In Pittsburg, there was no evident damage.

"I feel like we really lucked out," said water department administrator Kyle Violett. "We had no real flooding issues. The water was over the road a little in some areas, but it didn't last long. I'm not aware of any homes or businesses that were affected."

Violett said volunteer firefighters had barriers placed in strategic locations but removed them not long after placing them as the flooding threat passed.

 
 
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