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Flood waters engulf much of Lynchburg; more rain on way

Posted on Saturday, February 23, 2019 at 6:56 pm

As another day of heavy rain fell on Lynchburg, conditions became much worse as flood waters submerged roads and threatened low-lying homes and businesses.

Flood waters surged over Lynchburg on Saturday. Photo courtesy Sam Cartwright.

Metro Mayor Bonnie Lewis urged residents to stay home if at all possible, as more rain was on the way as darkness fell.

The county was under a tornado watch until 10 p.m. Saturday night. A flash flood watch remained in effect until midnight. Many roads were closed and Lewis said that list would stay active throughout the night because of impending rain.

The Tennessee Valley Authority increased the flow at Tims Ford Dam from 4K CFS to 18K CFS.

“We evacuated the lower end of the county today because we knew (TVA) was going to do that,” Lewis said. “The First United Methodist Church is open for shelter and they’re putting people up at the hotel.

“Right now, we’ve got things under control.”

Jack Daniel’s ceased tours and the hardware store and Miss Mary Bobo’s closed early, canceling the second seating. The visitors center did let people inside out of the rain, but it too closed.

Flood waters encroached up to the back of Miss Mary Bobo’s but did not get inside.

As of 7 p.m., the main roads, such as Lynchburg Highway, were easily driveable, but Lewis warned residents not to get complacent.

“There’s some pretty severe weather headed our way,” she said. “They say we might get an inch and a half more.”

No injuries had been reported to Lewis as of 6 p.m.

“Right now, everybody needs to be weather-alert and pay attention to what’s going on.”

From MCSD at 6:30 p.m.:

“State Route 50 going toward Fayetteville is passable, However State Route 50 going toward Tims Ford Dam is now closed at Galloway Lane just across the Moore County Line.”

The list of closed roads:

Gattistown, Dry Prong, Coker, Dogtail, Turkey Creek Loop, Ashley, Cumberland Springs, Raysville, Hurricane Creek, Shelton, Harry Hill, Cashion, Motlow Barns, Main Street, Goose Branch, Short Creek, State Route 129. 

The National Weather Service advisory for Saturday night:

“Showers and a few thunderstorms, some with locally heavy rain
are possible this morning. A strong cold front will bring
another round of showers and thunderstorms across the region
this afternoon and evening. Given the already saturated soils,
any additional rain will fall as runoff and lead to a
continued threat for flash flooding. Additional rainfall
amounts of 1 to 3 inches are possible, especially over
northwest Alabama and southern middle Tennessee.”

The Moore County boys basketball game set for Saturday night has been moved to Sunday afternoon at 3 p.m., still at Merrol Hyde Magnet School.

Weather was bad across the state, with Gov. Bill Lee putting a state of emergency in place for Tennessee.

The Tennessee Emergency Management Agency activated the Tennessee Emergency Management Plan.

Lee is asking Tennesseans to follow the instructions of emergency officials and stay on alert due to rising flood waters and the potential for more severe weather.

“Our departments and agencies are monitoring the ongoing weather developments in our state and they are coordinating to be fully prepared,” Lee said in a news release.