Foul weather makes work a challenge for Extreme Makeover crews

Foul weather makes work a challenge for Extreme Makeover crews

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Heavy rain, wind and lightning shut down production for about half an hour at the construction site in West Knoxville. Heavy rain, wind and lightning shut down production for about half an hour at the construction site in West Knoxville.
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KNOXVILLE (WATE) - Heavy rain, gusting wind and hail created traffic hazards, downed trees and made a mess at the Extreme Makeover: Home Edition build site Wednesday.

Heavy rain, wind and lightning shut down production for about half an hour at the construction site in West Knoxville.

Even before that, mud and standing water from earlier rains slowed down workers as they tore down the house and prepared the site to build a new one for the Watson family.

"We're slipping around, sliding," said Nick Changas, of Grace Construction. "Our equipment is wet."

Changas is on Grace Construction's Cobra team -- the problem solvers. He says the weather Tuesday was awful for construction.

"We were swamped," said Changas. "The rain was washing everything out. These really aren't normal conditions."

The mess was so bad it would normally shut down a construction project, but this is an extreme makeover.

"It's 24/7 until we get this thing done," said Van Tyler, owner of Van Tyler Excavation. "We have no choice."

"Water is always a bad actor. It always causes you problems," said Ray Faust, a geotechnical engineer. "We can't do compaction that we wanted to do, and when it's raining, you're walking around and can hardly walk. I was walking around with an extra five pounds of mud on each boot."

Elsewhere in the Knoxville area, trees were knocked down by the storm, including some in Hardin Valley.

The storm knock out traffic lights at Sherill Road and Cedar Bluff and flooded

The bad weather didn't just hit East Tennessee. In the Clarksville area of Middle Tennessee, the drive shaft of a truck punctured its fuel tank, spreading diesel fuel on Interstate 24 early Wednesday morning.

Clarksville Police spokesman Jim Knoll said that caused another truck to slide on the slick road and crash.

Eastbound lanes of the interstate were closed between Exit 8 and Exit 11.

The I-24 eastbound ramp onto the Interstate 40 loop in downtown Nashville was closed because of standing water.

Water also contributed to a number of traffic crashes on I-40 eastbound between I-440 and the loop.

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