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UPDATE: Floods engulf areas of Mt. Juliet

Laurie Everett • Dec 15, 2015 at 2:03 PM

Emergency management officials rescued a number of people from floodwaters over a two-hour period when torrential rains dumped more than 5 inches of rain in some areas of Mt. Juliet on Thursday morning.

Wilson Emergency Management Agency Director John Jewell said several water rescues took place.

“There were eight rescues this morning,” he said. “Several from stalled cars with rising water and several from homes surrounded by water.”

Quick heavy rains caused flash floods in numerous areas of Mt. Juliet. According to Mt. Juliet Police spokesperson Sgt. Tyler Chandler, they started to receive calls of flooded roads around 6:30 a.m. At one point a dozen roads were closed due to flash flooding.

He said a water rescue was conducted in the 3000 block of West Division Street where two elderly people were trapped in their home because of floodwaters. Cedar Creek runs in back of their house. WEMA’s water rescue team plucked the pair to safety as they used their inflatable boat.

A motorist was rescued from his car on S. East Springdale Road off Belinda Parkway.

Chandler said motorists were not cautious and drove through standing water and stalled. Of the 12 roads flooded during the heavy rain, as of 11:30 a.m., Old Lebanon Dirt Road near Page Drive; Old Lebanon Dirt Road near Valley Center; and West Division Street near the county line remained closed.

Because there is another rain system headed toward Mt. Juliet from the west, Jewell said an eight-man water rescue team has been stationed at Station 3 in Mt. Juliet.

“It’s hard to say how much more rain this other system will bring,” said Jewell. “So we are on standby.”

Two people were rescued from their home on John Wright Road and another person was rescued from his home at 2100 Beckwith Road. A car was reported submerged near Beckwith Road, but when emergency officials arrived they found it unoccupied.

“They also got a call from 271 Springhill Road, but it was cancelled,” said Jewell.

He said there were several other rescues.

Some parts of Mt. Juliet League Park are under water as Cedar Creek surged out of its banks. The park was hit with serious flooding in 2010 and last year. The Valley Center on N. Mt. Juliet Road was underwater with several cars halfway submerged. It too suffered severe flood damage in 2010.

At around 10:30 a.m. Thursday, water lapped the sidewalks of Exxex and Dollar General, as well as many of the other stores in the center. It was not known if water reached into the stores. York Road was under water as Cedar Creek enveloped blocks. A police officer and a teenager stood on what looked like an island there.

Jewell said the Lebanon Road area received the most amount of rain at 5.1 inches during the downpour. Near south Interstate 40,  4.72 inches fell and 4.06 inches fell at Point Barton. In the Saundersville Ferry Road area more than 3 inches of rain was recorded.

 “There’s more rain coming,” he said.

Chandler said Mt. Juliet was “virtually shut down in a two hour period.”

“We ask people to stay off the roads,” he said. “We are glad everyone is safe after this system came through. We had flash floods, which flooded the creeks and they rose.”

He said those rescued expressed gratitude to WEMA personnel.

The National Weather Service  extended a flash flood warning until 3 p.m. As of 11:50 a.m., there was heavy rain in Mt. Juliet after an hour without rain.

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