published Tuesday, September 6th, 2011

Flooding forces evacuations in Chattanooga area

Fort Oglethorpe Fire and Rescue members evacuate residents from Battlewood Apartments after heavy rain flooded parts of the complex and forced a shut off of electricity to the complex.
Fort Oglethorpe Fire and Rescue members evacuate residents from Battlewood Apartments after heavy rain flooded parts of the complex and forced a shut off of electricity to the complex.
Photo by Jake Daniels.

Weather forecast:

See a map of projected weather activity

Share your photos:

Send images and videos of the weather to webeditor@timesfreepress.com

Get breaking weather alerts:

Join us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

As the water began to rise above Joy Medford's neighbor's tires and past the bumpers Monday afternoon, she knew it was time to leave her Fort Oglethorpe apartment.

With a baby on one hip, bags in the other hand and a 5-year-old and an 8-year-old running through the knee-deep water covering the complex parking lot, Medford was able to evacuate before the water was too high.

"I didn't want to take any chances," she said.

Several hours later, Fort Oglethorpe Fire and Rescue teams had to evacuate 34 residents by boat from the Battlewood Apartments as the remains of Tropical Storm Lee fell in sheets across the region.

More than 8 inches of rain had fallen by Monday night, causing rivers and creeks to flood and water to rise above roads in the Southeast Tennessee and North Georgia regions.

Forecasters said the worst of the flooding was expected today.

North Georgia counties were under a flash flood watch until this morning, said Nate Mayes, a National Weather Service forecaster in Peachtree City, Ga.

  • photo
    Brittany Goad walks out of the water at Battlewood Apartments.
    Photo by Jake Daniels.
    enlarge photo

In Cherokee County, one man was injured when falling debris from winds, possibly from a tornado, hit him, The Associated Press reported.

In Catoosa County, residents experienced a five-hour communication blackout when the Ringgold Telephone Co.'s line went down at noon.

In Cleveland, Tenn., water began to seep under doors of at least four schools by afternoon, mildly flooding gyms and a school cafeteria, the system's director said.

"The water is so high in the area [the drains] aren't draining," said Dr. Martin Ringstaff, director of Cleveland City Schools.

Cleveland High School had water in the science wing. At Cleveland Middle, water was pouring under the auditorium doors and gym, and George R. Stuart Elementary also had water in the auditorium and gym and standing water was soaking into carpet, Ringstaff said.

Arnold Memorial Elementary School had water in the cafeteria.

But Ringstaff said schools personnel had placed sandbags in low areas, and officials hoped to have the water removed by Tuesday afternoon as long as the flooding didn't get worse.

"We haven't seen anything that has shocked us yet," he said. "It's just so much water so quick."

Both Bradley County and Cleveland schools were canceled today.

In Catoosa County, stranded residents of the Battlewood Apartments were bused to Lakeview Middle School, and other displaced residents were expected to stay at the gym there overnight.

But Catoosa County Schools spokeswoman Marissa Brower said the shelter was in the auxiliary gym and wasn't expected to get in the way of the first day of classes.

Officials planned to start school at two hours late, Brower said.

Correspondent Paul Leach and staff writer Ellis Smith contributed to this story.

Connect with the Times Free Press on Facebook

about Joy Lukachick...

Joy Lukachick is the city government reporter for the Chattanooga Times Free Press Since 2009, she's covered breaking news, high-profile trials, stories of lost lives and of regained hope and done investigative work. Raised near the Bayou, Joy’s hometown is along the outskirts of Baton Rouge, La. She has a bachelor’s degree in mass communication from Louisiana State University. While at LSU, Joy was a staff writer for the Daily Reveille. When Joy isn't chasing ...

Comments do not represent the opinions of the Chattanooga Times Free Press, nor does it review every comment. Profanities, slurs and libelous remarks are prohibited. For more information you can view our Terms & Conditions and/or Ethics policy.
please login to post a comment

Other National Articles

videos »         

photos »         

e-edition »

advertisement
advertisement
400 East 11th St., Chattanooga, TN 37403
General Information (423) 756-6900
Copyright, Permissions, Terms & Conditions, Privacy Policy, Ethics policy - Copyright ©2014, Chattanooga Publishing Company, Inc. All rights reserved.
This document may not be reprinted without the express written permission of Chattanooga Publishing Company, Inc.