The skies cleared briefly on Saturday morning after the city received a record rainfall on Christmas day. But, many residents were still keeping a keen eye on rising floodwaters which are menacing parts of East Ridge.
Rex Wheeler, who has lived on Notingham Drive for many years, haled out boxes of valuables from the garage of his home as rising water took him somewhat by surprise this morning.
“I looked out back at the Corvette that I had back there and water was up on the wheels,” said Wheeler. “I had to get a rollback in there and pull the thing out. I got it started and it was blowing water out the exhaust.”
Wheeler, along with neighbors and friends, were preparing to raise some of the cabinets in his garage on blocks as water continued to rise up from the woods on the dead end street on the East Side of Spring Creek Road near Parkridge East Hospital.
According to the National Weather Service, the area received 3.85 inches of rain on Christmas day, shattering the old record of 2.01 inches established in 1973. The forecast calls for a 20 percent chance of rain today, rising to 30 percent on Sunday.
Officials said South Chickamauga Creek is currently at 24.5 feet and will crest sometime in the next 24 to 48 hours.
Commander Randy Albright with the East Ridge Fire Department, said authorities are continuing to monitor the situation. Albright said that N.Swope and Pleasant Drive were among roads flooded in the city. He said that Scruggs Road was not passable, but that area contains mostly commercial businesses.
Albright said nobody in the city is currently being evacuated from their houses. However, a quick survey of the area of Swope and Marion Drive on the north side of the 5500 block of Ringgold Road, revealed many people carrying boxes from their homes in anticipation of being flooded.
City officials said there was some flash flooding reported on Friday in the area of John Ross Road and Coleman Circle.
Officials said two families were displaced during the rain event on Friday, one due to loss of electrical power. Those families are being helped by the Red Cross.
“From this point on we are monitoring the situation and if need be will take further action,” Fire Chief Mike Williams said Friday afternoon.