Hawkins rescuers enter floodwaters to retrieve crash victim on Route 113

Jeff Bobo • Feb 6, 2020 at 11:11 AM

BULLS GAP — Hawkins County rescuers entered floodwaters early Thursday morning to retrieve a motorist whose vehicle had run off the roadway and into a flooded ditch.

At approximately 4:52 a.m., emergency crews were notified of a single-vehicle crash in the area of Highway 113 near Bulls Gap Saint Clair Road.

According to a report by Hawkins County Rescue Squad Lt. Corey Young, while en route to the scene, emergency crews were advised the vehicle was in floodwaters with one person in the vehicle.

Upon arrival, emergency crews located a vehicle with a driver inside.

“The vehicle was approximately 10 feet off the roadway in a ditch that was flooded,” Young stated in his report. “Emergency Crews entered the floodwaters to gain access to the patient. Once Emergency Crews were able to free the patient from the vehicle, the individual was transported to an area hospital by Hawkins County EMS.”

Agencies that responded to the incident included the Hawkins County Rescue Squad, Hawkins County EMS, Bulls Gap Volunteer Fire Department, Persia Volunteer Fire Department, Hawkins County Sheriff’s Office, and TDOT.

One road closed by mudslide

Around 4 p.m. Thursday, Hawkins County Highway Department Superintendent Lowell Bean reported that a section of Barrett Hollow Road off Mountain View Road south of Church Hill had been closed due to a mudslide.

“(A highway worker) said it just slid the side of the road off,” Bean said. “He said there was probably about 100 feet (missing), so we closed the road off and put cones around just in case someone tries to run around it.”

Bean said the slide took out about half the road, which is narrow to start with.

“If you try to go around that, you could end up down at the bottom somewhere,” Bean added.

Flooded Hawkins County Roads

Bean listed several roads as closed and/or impassible Thursday morning including Blevins Road, Housewright Hollow Road, Caney Creek Road, Big Elm Road, and Buzzards Roost. Bean told the Times News Thursday evening that list was still good, with the addition of Barrett Hollow Road.

Other roads were covered with water, such as Moreland Road in Mooresburg and McKinney Chapel Road near Rogersville, but Bean said motorists were still driving on them and they hadn’t been closed as of Thursday evening.

Much of the Highway Department’s efforts Thursday were spent cleaning out tiles to keep water off the roads. 

“I’m hoping when this rain slows down it will recede pretty quick, and I think it will,” Bean said. “We had one or two (fallen trees) alone today, and we had to get a log out of a bridge or two that was blocking (the flow under) the bridge. But I’m looking for Friday to be busier than ever.” 

Bean added, “People just need to be careful and expect water in any low place. Don’t get in any hurry because any low places have water standing in it. I think when it quits raining, most of it will go down pretty quick, and that’s why we’re trying to keep the tiles clean.”

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