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Farragut recovers from floods

Farragut business owners are recovering from torrential rains that hit Knox County from Friday, Sept. 22, through Sunday, Sept. 24.

Johnnie Stringfield, owner of Sir Goony’s Family Fun Center at 10925 Kingston Pike, said it may be another week before he fully recovers from the damage inflicted by the weekend rain.

“It all happened so fast I didn’t really have any time to prepare,” he said. “I left the business Friday about noon to pick up my daughter from dance class, went to get lunch, came back by two and I had about three feet of water in my parking lot.”

The water was overflow from Turkey Creek, which runs behind the 7.98 acres on which his business sits. The rising water, which Stringfield said reached about five feet in height, turned into torrential flood waters. The force of the water carried a large, metal dumpster about 150 yards across the property and into adjacent woods.

The water covered the lower part of his miniature golf course, flowed into his office and washed over his go-cart tracks and the go-carts themselves.

Stringfield said normally he has time to move all the go-carts off the track and to higher ground when bad weather is predicted. This time, he didn’t have the opportunity due to the quick nature of the flooding.

“All of the go-carts got flooded,” Stringfield said. “It will be about another week before we can get them up and running again.”

All of the go-carts have to have their spark plugs pulled, the oil drained and replaced, the gasoline drained and replaced and have a host of other things done to them.

“We’re basically going to have to rebuild the engine on all of them,” he said. “It’s more time consuming than anything.”

He doesn’t have insurance, so the cost for cleaning up comes directly from his pocket.

“There were many community members and church groups that came out here to help with the cleanup,” he said. “I’m grateful for all their help.”

Another local business, Farragut Cleaners, fared a little bit better with the high water. Owners David Sharp and Dustin White said they had water in the business, but there was no lasting damage and no property destroyed.

“I was out in the rain collecting clothing from our other stores,” Sharp said. “She [White] was on the phone telling me how high the water was getting.”

None of their customer clothes got wet and they spent a majority of the time with a wet-dry vacuum cleaner getting the water out of their business.

Stringfield said he doesn’t want to start pointing fingers of blame over the responsibility for the overflow, but he hopes something could be done to keep the problem from happening again.

While the rain over the weekend was the exception rather than the norm, Farragut Community Development coordinator Mark Shipley said the town takes measures to keep floods from happening.

“We try to do a good job and be proactive to prevent such problems from happening,” he said. “Our public works guys do their best to keep obstruction areas clear at all times.”

The heavy rains seemed to be the problem this weekend more than any obstructions, he said.

“I don’t think they were predicting this much rain,” he said. “No one knew it was coming.”


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