(Spring City), February 23, 2019 – Rain continues to pour as many Spring City residents have already evacuated their homes. The town was hit hardest in Rhea County, but residents in Morgantown felt the power of the rising currents as well.
Evacuations are voluntary, but necessary, for those in Spring City along Piney’s outer banks. Red Cross has a shelter open at Spring City United Methodist Church. The Salvation Army will be feeding those evacuees in the morning.
County Executive George Thackers said, over 70 first responders and volunteers met at Spring City Middle School Saturday morning before spending the day rescuing people and working to protect as much property as possible.
In addition to local agencies, Hamilton County’s Swift Water Team from Sale Creek and Cumberland County’s Rescue Squad were here to offer a hand.
Sheriff Mike Neal and Rhea County Sheriff’s Department deputies worked throughout the day with local fire and rescue squads. Deputies were reportedly seen pulling residents to safety from the grasp of the raging currents.
Rhea Review’s Dean Wilson was on location with updates and these incredible photos.
Piney Creek, the source of torrential currents, has gone down significantly but Rhea County’s Emergency Management is asking residents stay off the road unless absolutely necessary.
The banks of the Piney gave way and swept four fuel storage tanks beside Big Apple Market into waters. The tanks were reportedly 2,000 gallons each and soon collided with the road above spilling massive amounts of gasoline. (Video courtesy of Carl Thundquist.)
Powerful fumes of gasoline were reported in the area after the massive amounts of petrol were released.
Rhea County Emergency Management’s Heather Roberts assured us that TDEC (Tennessee Dept. Environment and Conservation) is involved and monitoring the situation.
Roberts was also happy to say there have been no known reports of injuries.
Given the situation, Roberts said she feels blessed.
“Thankfully, we have been able to manage all the incidents across the county with regards to the flood.”
In Dayton, Richland Creek is up and outside its banks but teams were able to mitigate problems, and it now appears the water is receding.
Officials will reassess the situation when daylight reveals the result of another night of rain.