Note: This story was last updated at 2:45 p.m.
Days of continuous, heavy rain are causing widespread flooding and road closures in the area, including in Oak Ridge.
Late Saturday morning, the Oak Ridge Police Department said road closures include Gum Hollow Road, eastbound Highway 95 east of the Highway 95/58 split, and Jefferson Avenue at Jefferson Circle and Royce Circle.
“There are a number of flooded roads in Oak Ridge right now,” the ORPD said. “Please avoid areas with standing water and obey any road or lane closures for your own safety.”
Saturday afternoon, the Oak Ridge Fire Department said the ORPD conducted a water rescue at a partially submerged vehicle on Oak Ridge Turnpike (Highway 95) in west Oak Ridge.
The Police Department cited the advice that law enforcement officers and weather forecasters often give during flooding conditions: “Turn around, don’t drown.”
North of Oak Ridge, the Oliver Springs Police Department said Airport Road, Bennett Road, Midway Drive, and Arrowhead Park all have high waters, and Windrock Road is closed.
There is also widespread flooding in other areas in and around Knoxville, ranging from Karns to Fountain City.
“As the rain continues, we expect driving conditions to worsen so please slow down and be mindful of ponding water,” the ORPD said. “If you have to get out today, please stay safe!”
The Anderson County Sheriff’s Department said many roadways are flooded and closed in the county.
“Travel is strongly discouraged in Anderson County and surrounding areas,” the ACSD said. “If you must be on the roads, do not attempt to cross a flooded roadway.”
In Roane County, the Sheriff’s Office said, “there is flooding all over. Our deputies are reporting many roads that are completely covered. Please do not travel today unless absolutely necessary.”
Flooding was reported on Lake City Highway near Rocky Top.
The Tennessee Department of Transportation said another half-inch of rain is expected from noon Saturday to Sunday morning
“In addition to flooding and slope stability concerns, call-outs for downed trees are occurring across the region,” TDOT said. “Smaller, localized flooding locations (not requiring a total road closure) are being addressed with high water signs.”
Recent rains have apparently contributed to some slope sides in the area. A portion of State Route 116 in Anderson County (New River Highway) collapsed during rains earlier this month.
The National Weather Service in Morristown called it a very dangerous situation.
“We have received multiple reports of flooding across the area,” the NWS said. “Please heed all flood advisories and warnings that are issued. Please do not travel unless absolutely necessary. Do not drive through flooded waters.”
In Oak Ridge, authorities have reminded people several times Saturday afternoon through text messages and emergency alerts that there is major flooding in west Oak Ridge, and they have warned drivers to not drive through flood waters or around barricades. The barricades are there for safety and to help prevent injury or death, authorities said.
More information will be added as it becomes available.
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