Note: This story was last updated at 8 p.m.
Roads flooded and trees fell—sometimes on homes, power lines, and roads—as rain continued to fall in East Tennessee on Sunday. One driver was reported to have escaped from her car in floodwaters on Airport Road near Oliver Springs on Saturday afternoon, but the black Nissan Altima remained partially submerged in the water on Sunday.
There appeared to have been at least 10 reports of fallen trees in Oak Ridge during the severe thunderstorms that started Saturday afternoon and continued with rain showers on Sunday. Most of those trees were reported to have fallen on homes, power lines, across roadways, or on personal property such as an automobile. There were five reports of fallen trees between about 3 and 4:30 p.m. Sunday, including a tree that fell across both lanes of Melton Lake Drive near Calhoun’s restaurant, causing a temporary closure of that two-lane road.
There were more reports of trees that had fallen but not damaged anything.
Large trees are falling due to excess rain, the City of Oak Ridge said Sunday. Electric crews have been out all night, and backup is on the way, the city said, but it may be tomorrow (Monday, April 24) before all power is back.
At various times on Sunday, there were reports of flooding or flood watches across Oak Ridge, including on Vermont Avenue, near Heritage Center (the former K-25 site), on California Avenue, and at Jefferson Avenue and North Jefferson Circle.
There were also reports of trees down and road closures in Clinton. Briceville Highway was reported to be closed in Briceveille due to sinking pavement on Sunday afternoon. Earlier Sunday, State Route 71 in Anderson County was closed for several hours at Norris Dam State Park because trees were blocking the road, according to the Tennessee Department of Transportation.
Some school districts have announced they will be closed Monday. Roane County Schools said it will be closed due to “concerning road conditions throughout the county.” Anderson County Schools said it will be closed because of dangerous conditions with flooded roads and trees being down.
The National Weather Service in Morristown said a record for daily rainfall was set at Knoxville Mcghee Tyson Airport on Sunday. The NWS said 1.89 inches had fallen as of 5 p.m. Sunday, breaking the old record of 1.63 inches in 1977.