(WBIR - Townsend) The Townsend Volunteer Fire Department rescued 11 people from the Little River Saturday, after waters rose quickly.
Chief Don Stallion said multiple calls came in the early afternoon from people tubing along the river between Cedar Creek Road and Carnes Road. Within an hour, crews with Townsend and Blount County rescued 11 people.
"The river came up so fast. We didn't have any rain here, we had rain up in the park, which caused the river to rise so fast and caught everybody by surprise," Stallion said.
"I think once everybody realized what was going on, everybody reacted responsibly."
Stallion reported no major injuries, but said some people left with cuts and bruises.
Stallion said, at the local police department's request, area tubing companies have stopped shuttling customers to the water for the rest of the day.
He advised people to stay off the river and to be aware of changing conditions.
"When they're in a mountain stream, weather that really affects how that stream flows where you're at really occurs up the mountain," he said. "So it could be dry in your area, but raining upstream which could cause that stream to go into flood stage."
He added, "This is a natural mountain stream, and it should be clear. If it's muddy stay out of it."