Thursday, April 28, 2011

Crews cleaning storm damage

I just checked my voice mail at work. Got a call from someone offended what I wrote about them here. You know what? Get over it. You're not as tuned in as you'd like to believe. No offense. (I'm probably not either for that matter. But, I'm right on this one.) Besides, you think you're the first person I used those phrases on? Whatever. Oh yeah. One more thing. Answer questions next time you get a call. Anyhoo, have a nice day.

The following is the latest press release from county communications manager Michael Grider. I thought about re-writing it for him, being a smart-ass. But that storm last night was pretty messed up. I hope everyone is OK. Here:

Knoxville, Tenn. — Knox County Engineering and Public Works crews are busy cleaning up roads and responding to calls today, after severe storms rolled through Knox County Wednesday afternoon and late into the night. Currently, at least 18 roads still closed due to downed trees, and in those cases, EPW crews are waiting for KUB or LCUB to clear downed power lines before the trees can be removed from the roadway. Two additional roads are closed due to high water.

“Our Engineering and Public Works crews will continue to work to ensure that Knox County’s roads are safe and clear of debris, but it is important to understand that with a storm like what we saw yesterday, this work takes time,” Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett said. “It is important that we all have patience and take all necessary precautions to be safe at home and when traveling the roads.”

The following roads are closed due to downed trees: Lynbrulee, Belt, Eddington, Whittower, Morefield, Nubbin Ridge, Tipton Station, Sevierville Pike, Sims, Berry, Early, Patty, Brushy Valley, Brock, Huckleberry Springs, Elkmont, Lakemoor and Bluff Point (one side of boulevard is open). Ebenezer and Brown are also closed due to high water on the roadway.

Already, EPW Highway crews have cleared trees from the following roads: Clapps Chapel, Kodak, Saratoga, Riverwood, Highland View, Happy Ln., Blue Grass, Rogers Island, Tanglewood, Fox Hollow, Whittington, Quarry, Cooper, Farrington, Keller Bend, Washington Pike, Sumac, Dry Gap, Choto, Sharp,Tedford, Westland and Rhea.

Knox County Engineering and Public Works isn’t the only department dealing with storm damage. The South Knox branch of the Knox County Public Library will be closed until further notice due to storm damage and water in the building. A site assessment is currently underway.

Also, approximately 20 trees are down in Concord Park, and crews are assessing other county parks for damage this morning.

“We want to be sure that our citizens see as little disruption as possible,” Mayor Burchett said. “The crews at Engineering and Public Works and in our other departments do an outstanding job.”

Anyone needing to report debris in the roadway or damage to a county park or other county facility should call the Knox County Office of Community outreach at 865-215-HELP (4357).

UPDATE: Jim Snowden, deputy director of Knox County Engineering and Public Works says:

The following roads are closed due to utilities still being in conflict (low hanging lines, safety concerns, etc.)but we have removed trees: Sharp, Topside (lake side), Montlake, and Neubert Springs

The following roads are closed due to trees and utilities: Brock, Berry, Sevierville Pike, Sims, Idumea.

The following roads are closed due to high water: Peters Road, Ebenezer Road and Woody Drive.

Total closed as of 11:30 is 12. We should have all trees removed by close of business today, however, we are unsure about when/if the utility issues may be resolved.

All others that were on the previous list have been re-opened to traffic.

Grider also says: Also, I just spoke with Parks Director Doug Bataille, and he says the number of trees down at Concord Park is now closer to 50. He also says the Cove at Concord Park is being closed because of downed trees and power lines.

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