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Hampton residents face three flash floods in two weeks

By Meredith Machen, mmachen@wcyb.com
Published On: Jul 11 2013 04:28:22 PM CDT
Updated On: Jul 10 2013 11:00:00 PM CDT

A heavy downpour dumped three inches of rain in less than an hour in parts of Carter County Wednesday causing localized flash flooding that's been all too familiar for some residents.

CARTER COUNTY, Tenn. -

A heavy downpour dumped three inches of rain in less than an hour in parts of Carter County Wednesday, causing localized flash flooding that's been all too familiar for some residents.

Thursday, Zane Church was faced with a daunting clean-up after a storm cell hovered over Rittertown Road, leaving him with a big mess in his front yard.

"All that mud and debris [is] down in my gate. My gates won't close or anything else down there," Church told News 5.

We found out his garage was caked with mud after flood waters seeped inside, and the water that rushed down his hill actually swept a hole through Church's garage foundation.

He might not be so upset if this was the first time it happened.

"That makes the third time in about two weeks. Water just kept coming," Church said.

Carter County highway crews agreed that this has become an unusually frequent problem.

Officials said this summer's extreme amounts of rain are more than Bill's Branch Creek can bear.

"It just keeps gushing rain in on us all the time. Most of the time it comes from the back side of that mountain up yonder, and we can't slow it down," said Willie Campbell with the Carter County Highway Department.

We learned what is slowing it down is a drainage pipe, called a tile, that officials said is too small and tilted; making an already bad situation much worse.

"I've been here 38 years and I've never seen it like this, but hopefully we'll get the problem solved," Campbell told us.

We found crews already digging up rock and moving debris to make the creek wider and flow easier Thursday afternoon, but officials told me it's just a 'Band-Aid' of a fix and it will take a lot more planning to create a long-term solution.

That's one more frustration for a homeowner tired of his frequent flooding.

"It's just bad. I don't know what to do about it," said Church.

Here are more flooding facts we found out:

Carter County's Emergency Management Agency director, Andrew Worley, told us three families evacuated their homes during the Rittertown flash flood, but all were allowed back in their homes in about an hour.

Part of the road was also shut down, but it is now back open.