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Kingsport businesses remember last year's heavy flood

By Breyanna Blackwell, News Intern, bblackwell@wcyb.com
Lyndsey Price, lprice@wcyb.com
Published On: Jul 15 2014 05:00:55 PM CDT
Updated On: Jul 14 2014 01:48:10 PM CDT

One year ago this week, heavy rains flooded the heart of Kingsport. Now the city and businesses have made changes to avoid a reoccurrence.

KINGSPORT, Tenn. -

One year ago this week, heavy rains flooded the heart of Kingsport.

Business owners and the City of Kingsport are hoping they never have to go through what they did a year ago. The clean-up took several days and in some cases even weeks, but everyone we talked to Tuesday says they've picked up and moved on.

"When we get really bad rain storms here you know that's always in the back of your mind thinking oh no could that could we repeat that," says Cathy Lounds.

Cathy Lounds is the owner of Variety Printing and Gifts located off East Market Street.

Lounds says during last years flooding they lost around $25,000 worth of merchandise. "We just had lots and lots in the floor but anything that was low like a lower table with merchandise it was just completely ruined," she said.

She couldn't believe her eyes when she saw the store. "You almost didn't know where to start it was just astronomical it was bad," says Lounds.

Now she keeps as much merchandise off the floor as possible, just in case something happens again. "We have so much stuff in here that we don't have a choice there is no way to get it up off the floor but we don't keep as much on the floor as we use to," adds Lounds.

Kingsport Public Works Director, Ryan McReynolds, says during last year's storm an inch of rain fell every 10 minutes which is very unusual.

Since the flood, the city is looking at it's storm drain system and cleaning catch basins more often, "To make sure when normal rainfall events or even when hard rainfall events come that we can minimize the impact," says McReynolds

One positive thing did come from the storm -- Lounds says about 40 strangers helped clean up her business, which gives her faith in her community. "If there is ever a really bad emergency here in Kingsport, people will come together and Kingsport can do it," she said.