Tipton county flooding forces evacuations, causes traffic problems

By Justin Hanson - bio | email

MASON, TN (WMC-TV) - Heavy rains caused a fair share of problems for residents up in Tipton County.

Officials estimated around 11 inches of rain fell there over the weekend and that heavy rain flooded hundreds out of their homes.

"My truck was underwater, my son's truck was underwater, but we had to get out of here the current was so bad," said resident Scott Flanagan.

Flanagan says he had never seen flooding like this before.

He said water was over this tractor in his front yard.  Debris still covered the cars in his driveway after Saturday's heavy rain totaled them out.

"Pushed the boat on top of the cars.  One of the neighbors' cars was here," Flanagan said.  "It picked it up and floated it forty feet."

A trailer filled with carpet and sheet rock sits in Flanagan's front yard.

He said the bottom floor of his Burlison home was completely destroyed by flood waters.

"We gutted the house...when insurance said they wouldn't fix it," Flanagan said.  "We had to take action.  It was going to mold, mildew ... we had it gutted in two hours."

In Mason Tennessee, flood waters filled Troy Childress' home.

"It flooded everything," Childress said.  "It finally got up in the house ... I think about a foot."

Childress' son Travis rents the home.

Travis and his family, along with most of their animals, found a dry place to stay overnight.

"Daughter in law stayed in there till it got up over her boots," Childress said.  "She came out, got in the truck.  They were still out there trying to get the horses out."

Roads in the area were still closed Sunday because of flooding.

"He said it was over the top of the boards on that second barn," Childress said.  "That's eight foot."

Tipton County Mayor Jeff Huffman said about 3,000 customers of Poplar Grove Utility district in south Tipton County were without water Sunday after a 12 inch main broke because of heavy flooding.

The heavy rainfall also caused major problems with travel in Tipton County.  Many roads were closed or even washed out.

Early Sunday morning, Covington and Tipton County Public Works crews were out closing more county roads as a result of the rainfall.

"It's been a while since I seen this much water," said Danny Brown with Covington Public Works.  "I can't remember when."

"I live over there off Holly Grove near Turkey Scratch and water came over the road all day down there," Childress said.

Video shot by Action News 5 news partner The Leader shows heavy flooding along Simonton Street in north Covington.

One picture showed water up to the tops of buildings along Quinton Drive in Atoka.

All this rain has washed out roads and bridges all over the county.  Officials said 23 roads were closed because they are washed out.  They are continuing to asses the damage.

State bridge inspectors are coming in to asses the safety of all bridges.

Schools in the county will be closed Monday due to road conditions.

"It's so widespread, it's a problem for us," said Tipton County mayor Jeff Huffman.  "We're estimating the damage to just the public infrastructure at over five and a half million dollars."

Brown said that until roads reopen, drives need to take extra care.

"They're washed away, shoulders and everything," said Brown.  "So bad around Covington now ... got to be extra cautious."

Brown said that until roads reopen, drives need to take extra care.

Tipton County Director of Schools Dr. Tim Fite will be live in the WMC-TV 5 studio during the 6 AM hour Monday morning.  He will be discuss the latest on the road conditions and when schools will reopen.

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