COCKE COUNTY, Tenn. (WATE) — The worst of Hurricane Ian may be over as it crosses into the Atlantic Ocean, but one East Tennessee county is preparing itself for a worst-case scenario.
The new Swift Water Rescue Team in Cocke County has only been in existence for one year, but has already saved some lives and helped the county in search and rescue situations.
There’s still a day or two away from feeling the remnants of Hurricane Ian in East Tennessee but it is never too early to start getting yourself and your family prepared for potential disasters.
“It could not have come at a better time,” Cocke County Mayor Rob Mathis said. “It was implemented because we have a lot of waterways here in Cocke County and one of the biggest parts of our local economy is white water rafting and so we needed something to where if there is an emergency to happen with white water rafters or anyone else using our waterways, we could get to those folks and rescue them.”
Residents in the area are expecting the water levels to rise for both the Pigeon and the French Broad Rivers. Those residents are hopeful for little to no damage to their properties this weekend.
“Start making preparations,” Emergency Management Director Joe Esway said. “Review your home’s disaster preparedness plan. What does that look like, let’s have conversations with our kids and our extended family and friends? Start lining up a place to stay if things start to get a little bit hairy.”