Cleanup needs more apparent after floodwater recedes

Local News

As the floodwater receded in west Knoxville, cleanup started to get underway.

Bart Carey owns property off Keller Bend Road in West Knoxville. That road was closed for several days due to flooding.

Related: Crews begin filling huge North Knox County sinkhole

Carey said Thursday was the first day he was able to get inside his property since Saturday.

‘I can see the devastation’

“I’ve been carrying my fishing waters in my truck for four days and, really, I just decided what am I gonna… if I open that door, I’m not gonna be able to…I can see in the windows, and I can see the devastation in the windows,” Carey said.

After he was able to open the garage, which is on the lower level of the property, Carey said he was overwhelmed by all of the damage caused by the flooding.

“Our problem today of course is digging out from under the muck and mud that’s in the building and a lot of work to be done. We had 5 1/2 feet of water in this building,” Carey said.

TEMA says help is available

Dean Flener, spokesperson for Tennessee Emergency Management Agency, said help is available to those who need help cleaning a flooded or previously flooded area.

Flener said whenever someone starts to clean their property that was damaged by floodwater, they need to keep safety in mind.

“You need to wear heavy boots, you need to wear gloves. Wear long pants, wear long sleeve shirts. You know, don’t go into a previously flooded area and start pulling out construction material with nails while you’re wearing flip flops, shorts and a T-shirt,” Flener said.

Separate trash by type

He also said that people should separate their trash before taking it to the curb or the dump. Keep the damaged electronics with the other damaged electronics, wood with the other wood, normal garbage with the normal garbage, etc.

Related: I-40 at Tennessee-N. Carolina line reopens, repairs to take six weeks

The Cleanup Help Line for flood survivors will be available to call 24/7 until March 15 at 1-833-556-2476.

Flener said that if someone doesn’t answer, leave a message and a volunteer should respond within 24 hours.

The volunteers have received 50 calls since Wednesday for help to cleanup flood damage.

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