A clear forecast the remainder of this week should help parts of East Tennessee dry out after downpours saturated much of the area Tuesday.
The steady showers soaked Knoxville for more than 24 hours and flooded several roadways. Rainfall rushed down the hills along Cherokee Trail and forced the city to close the route near UT Medical Center. Erosion along the hillside also caused a couple of large trees to collapse in the road.
Students at South-Doyle High School found one of the parking lot entrances covered by a large pool of standing water. Deputies with the Knox County Sheriff's Office temporarily blocked the entrance to prevent any vehicles from venturing into the water.
The Knoxville Fire Department responded to around seven emergency calls from drivers who ignored roadblocks and bypassed barricades.
"For some reason they [drivers] will read the sign that says 'road closed' and they think that applies
to everybody but them," said Captain D.J. Corcoran with the Knoxville Fire Department. "The next thing you know they're calling 911
to come and get them out of the water."
Tuesday at around 4:00 a.m., KFD responded to one serious flooding emergency that was no fault of the victims. A creek along Ault Street in East Knoxville submerged a nearby home in more than a foot of water.
"This morning I heard something or another dripping," said Ruth Brown, owner of the flooded home. "The water was coming through the backdoor, into the living room, and right on through. It's hard when you're standing in your own living room and water is up over your knees."
Brown called for emergency assistance to help to evacuate her diabetic daughter.
"My daughter is on oxygen and we just did what we could to get to a safe spot in the house," said Brown.
Brown's grandson, Danny Ray, lives at the home but was at work when the flash flood struck.
"This is probably the fifth time this house has flooded in the last 20 years. It is a problem with the creek. I wish the city could widen the creek out or do something. You can see the water line on the exterior of the house."
Ray surveyed the saturated mess inside Brown's submerged house. He was unsure what could be salvaged among a variety of electronic devices.
"The water just soaked like a sponge through the carpets and the rugs," said Ray. "My mom's oxygen machine, I don't know if it is still operable or not."
The power to the home remains shut off. Corcoran said electrical outlets that are submerged in flood waters can present a fire hazard when power is restored. Brown tried to salvage any perishable goods and said she was not sure if she can afford an electrician to inspect the home.
For now the Red Cross has provided shelter for the next three days at a nearby motel.
"It means I've got a place to hold my head for about three days is all I know," said Brown. "I really appreciate the Red Cross. I don't know who called them and asked them to help us out, but it really means a lot because I do not know where we would be."
September is National Preparedness Month for the American Red Cross. The organization is reminding families to create an emergency plan for floods and other disasters. Red Cross officials say families need to establish a meeting place outside the home, agree on an out-of-area emergency contact, and designate a place to meet if they cannot go home.
You can find more preparedness tips and contribute to flood victims at the Knoxville Area Red Cross website, knoxarc.org.