Loudon County received a deluge of rain over the weekend that caused some localized flooding, but only minor damage has been reported.
Derek Eisentrout, Morristown National Weather Service meteorologist, said the county averaged about 2 inches of rain early Sunday, but some residents could have seen up to 3 inches.
“To have an active weather pattern across the area in the spring is very common,” Eisentrout said. “This is really our severe weather season, and we certainly did experience some over the past few days. … A strong low pressure system that was over the southern plain, it moved northeast and really affected us over a several days period bringing multiple bouts of precipitation and severe weather and flooding.”
He emphasized the county was under several flash flood warnings Sunday.
Ty Ross, Loudon manager, said there were only minimal issues caused by the weekend storms.
“We were very fortunate,” Ross said. “No major incidents to speak of. … There were flood warnings issued, and we did have some water in some low areas, but no accidents or incidents to report.”
As of News-Herald presstime, Lenoir City Administrator Amber Scott said the extent of storm damage is unknown.
“At this time, we’re still surveying some of the damage, but I did speak with our street superintendent over the weekend and also again this (Monday) morning early,” Scott said. “He said that so far what he’s seen is some silt runoff and wash out in certain areas of the city, which we’ve already cleaned up and repaired. So far, minimal damage as far as the roads go. But like I said he’s still assessing that, surveying that.”
Shannon Littleton, Lenoir City Utilities Board general manager, said crews battled a broken water main Sunday.
“We had a major water main break, just a 14-inch line that was close to the plant, the water plant,” Littleton said. “Of course, quick action was taken by our crews and our management team, and they were able to valve off the system and reverse the water flow from the tanks. We had plenty of reserve to pass in the tanks. Really, no one should have been impacted long term. Obviously, there was a short duration of impact, but ultimately there ended up being just a handful of customers that saw any significant interruption.
“If it had gone for several days, there would have been a significant impact to all customers,” he added. “But everyone acted quick enough to get in front of the problem. No one should’ve seen anything that was disruptive, especially on the residential side.”
The cause of the break is still unknown, Littleton said. Contributing factors could include the age of the line, lightning or ground movement. Littleton said the line was large enough that the break could have been a “serious issue” had it not been quickly resolved.
On the electric side, Littleton said there was minimal impact by the storms.
“We had some small, scattered (outages),” he said. “Nothing really to report there. I think we survived a pretty nasty rain event over the weekend, so I think we’re in pretty good shape.”