Business owners, officials keep an eye on rising waters

Business owners, officials keep an eye on rising waters in Townsend

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Officials and business owners are keeping an eye of local waterways for flooding with all of the recent rain. Officials and business owners are keeping an eye of local waterways for flooding with all of the recent rain.
"We will keep any eye on it and make sure it doesn't get too high," Stephanie Payne said. "We will keep any eye on it and make sure it doesn't get too high," Stephanie Payne said.
"Realize it may not be raining here, if it's raining up in the park, it could gradually effect the water levels," said Townsend Fire Chief Don Stallion. "Realize it may not be raining here, if it's raining up in the park, it could gradually effect the water levels," said Townsend Fire Chief Don Stallion.

By JOSH AULT
6 News Reporter

TOWNSEND (WATE) - All this rain and the prospect of a big holiday tourism weekend is prompting a warning from the National Park Service.

The chief ranger is urging Smokies visitors to be cautious around rivers and streams.

Flooding has been a problem around the Smokies this year. Back in January, flooding in the Townsend area forced people out of vacation homes near the Little River.

"It actually came up to right here," explained Tuckaleechee Village Motel manager Stephanie Payne, when the water from the Little River got close to their office.

She says when the river rises it threatens their 13 cabins.

"We have certain low lying areas," said Payne. "We have to keep an eye on."

Payne says Thursday they will be filled to capacity, but they have a plan if the water gets too high.

"We will keep any eye on it and make sure it doesn't get too high," she said. "We'll warn our customers about it. If it gets too high, we'll start getting people out."

Don Stallion, Townsend Area Volunteer Fire Department chief, says watching the river is the best thing people can do.

"Realize it may not be raining here, if it's raining up in the park, it could gradually effect the water levels," said Stallion.

Stallion says it is important to have a plan just in case you have to leave.

"You don't want to get caught up in swift water," he said. "A lot of people don't realize how swift water is and what can happen."

Emergency officials in Townsend will continue to monitor water levels to make everyone has a safe Fourth of July.

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