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Torrential rains trigger street flooding, accidents and rising rivers

Torrential rains are falling across Western and Middle Tennessee today, periodic downpours alternating with brief glimpses of blue sky, with in essence only a moment’s breathing room. The effects of the rain are already being felt, not the least of which is a car accident that may or may not be attributable to insufficient or ineffecient storm drain problems at the intersection of Riverside Drive and Thomas Street.

A disgusted Doyle Rust, the owner C&S Auto Repair shortly after the accident in front of his business C&S Auto repair

As he watched the water rise, Doyle Rust (above), proprietor of C&S Auto Repair, said the intersection with its propensity to flood, has been a source of aggravation for the past 15 years, with high water repeatedly flooding the street and access to his place of business.

We have contacted the city, county and TDOT regarding the drainage problem on Riverside/Thomas numerous times over the last several years to no avail. The city says it’s the state’s responsibility and vice versa. The accident today resulted in a piece of the telephone pole approximately 6 feet in length being catapulted over 40 feet. Should one of my employees been in the parking lot, I wonder who would accept responsibility then? Interestingly, the city street department has just arrived on the scene a full hour and 10 minutes later to erect high water/street closure signs. Somebody, PLEASE, fix these drains before someone get seriously injured. — Doyle Rust

Hydroplaning may been the cause of this Riverside Drive accident that sheered a streetpole  in half.

At McGregor Park, workers hustled to remove light fixtures from the waterfront terrace even as the waters darkened by mud and riddled with debris rises minute by minute. Within a few hours, the terrace itself was underwater and a few visitors paused to take picture of the rising water. Montgomery County is currently under a flood watch, and that will like remain in effect for several days given the National Weather Service forecast for more storms and heavy rain over the next 36-48 hours.

The Towboat Evey-T passing the recently submerged terrace at McGregor Park

The recently flooded terrace at McGregor Park

At the Fairgrounds, the pathways were flooded out, and seepage had already begun to fill a number of fields as the ground reached a saturation point. Motorists are urged to use caution during the heavy downpours, and be aware of the ponding that occurs on many intersections and streets.

Light pole broken in a collision by a vehicle which was likely hydroplaning on the high water at Thomas Street and Riverside Drive.

Photos by Bill Larson and Mark Haynes.


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