Pigeon Forge hit hard by flood waters

PIGEON FORGE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- Flood waters are rising overnight in Pigeon Forge, where all day people have been watching the waters get higher and higher.

Numerous roads were closed and reopened throughout the day on Tuesday because of high water, and water threatened the closure of others. Several homes in Pigeon Forge were threatened on Golden Circle Drive as Waldens Creek over flowed its banks.

Flooding on Waldens Creek Road and Rivers Divide Road actually trapped some people who didn't have a way out with out going through the water.

"Where we live we can't get out the other way either, because River Divide the water comes up all the way over that too," said Tina Blakeslee, as she took pictures of the flooding on Waldens Creek Road. "We aren't attempting to come through that again. My car sits too low and I don't want anything to happen to it, I've seen too many times where it'll take them away."

Folks say this is a common area for flood waters, that often will get high enough to get into a nearby store. However, this flooding could last longer that usual and may reach the store before all is said and done.

"It floods often, I've seen it go into the store here," said Sharon Baker. "I think it will be into the store before it gets done."
Sevier County Emergency Management is reporting Several incidents that happened throughout the day.

A few campers were damaged at Rippling Waters Campground on Winfield Dunn Parkway in Sevierville. No injuries reported.

According to John Mathews, EMA Director, there was a partial road collapse in the Pittman Center area at the intersection of of Stone Fence Lane and Forest Springs Drive. Mathews says in Gatlinburg, firefighters had to evacuate 3 families from cabins above 569 Forest Springs Road. He says No one was hurt.

Officials in the Smokies are bracing for more problems with more rain forecast in the next 24 hours. Late Tuesday, Great Smoky Mountains National Park officials say they had to close Little River Road from Metcalf Bottoms to the Townsend Wye due to high water. They're also watching several other areas closely.

"We've seen over 4 inches of rain, we're expecting another band of rain to hit us, so our rivers are continuing to rise as we speak," said Dana Soehn, Spokesperson for the National Park. "We're on the look out especially as we add the moisture, the ground is soft and we could start to see some trees falling, but as of yet we have not had reports of significant trees coming down."

As of 9 a.m. Wednesday, the following roads were closed, but be aware that there are many areas of water on roadways in Sevier County.

Sevierville - Burden Hill (bridge)
Pigeon Forge - River Divide, Willow View, Tiger Dr., Bud LN, Golden Cir/Bud Ln, Old Valley Road
Seymour - Happy Creek/Heather LN
Gatlinburg - Stone Fence @ Forest Springs Drive
Sevier County - Whites School Road (both Entrances)

Flooded Roads
Sevierville -Apple Valley, Snapp Road
Seymour -Long Branch Rd/ Heather Lane
Pigeon Forge -Webb Creek, River Song Way, Oldham Cir/Boogertown, Battle Hill Area,
English Mountain – Jones Cove/Camp Hollow
Waldens Creek - Rusty Gap, Waldens Creek

The American Red Cross opened a shelter at the Pigeon Forge Community Center Tuesday night for anyone who needs to evacuate their home. The shelter was closed Wednesday morning.

Sevier County Schools will be closed on Wednesday, January 16.


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