Rutledge Volunteer Fire Department, community members share flood stories

Local News

The floodwaters that covered dozens of roads, homes and businesses around East Tennessee are now receding, but the stories of neighbor helping neighbor are still coming in.

A group of volunteer firefighters helped the Rutledge community, making sure water didn’t linger and cause damage there. 

Heavy rain caused about two inches of floodwater to seep into the basement of Helton Springs Baptist Church last week, prompting church members to call the Rutledge Volunteer Fire Department for backup.

“We would probably have had maybe two foot of water in the basement had they not have come, and we were able to hold it at about two inches,” said Perry Whitt, deacon of Helton Springs Baptist Church.

The volunteer squad pumping away water pooling outside the church, a situation, that could have ended much differently.

“Without them, we would have been devastated,” Whitt said.

That’s one of the calls that stands out to the fire department. Responding to a home on Heim Road is another.

“I don’t know how much higher it would have gotten, because the waters went back and forth and then we had all that rain on Sunday, and because of them I was in better shape,” said Sherry Scudiero, who lives in the Heim Road home. 

Her basement was soaking in about a foot and a half of water. 

Rutledge VFD along with Bean Station and Blaine helped her get the water down, in and around her home. The effort, she says, lasted well into the night.

“It’s the biggest thank you I never expected. I love Tennessee and now I know why they call it the Volunteer state,” she said.

We took the community’s gratitude to the crew behind the scenes. The department is thankful, but staying humble.

“Helping the community is what we’re here for, and we just so happen to have the specialized equipment to move the water that was affecting the residents of our community,” said Rutledge VFD Chief Chad Mcelhaney.

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