As flood waters were rising, Franklin city officials and residents were experiencing déjá vu.
But this time, some of the areas that flooded the worst weren’t damaged in 2008, Franklin Mayor Steve Barnett said.
Some of the worst flooding was on the north end of the city, in Knollwood Farms, Northwood Apartments and along 14th Street, just north of downtown, Barnett said. Throughout the day, city officials closely watched flooding on the north side of the city and prepared for the worst, by having police and firefighters out and boats ready to evacuate people, if needed.
City officials didn’t have specific reports of damage by Tuesday afternoon, but Barnett expected water had gotten into some homes, especially along 14th Street, where water had reached waist-high at one point. The area just north of downtown, which was hit hard with flooding in 2008, still had water creeping into yards and a few homes. Streets had also flooded, and at least one driver had gotten stuck trying to pass through.
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“This is not going to be an ’08 effect, but this is not good,” he said.
Dennis Kight waded in nearly waist-high waters front of his downtown home at the same time his wife was at the hospital preparing to give birth to their first child. Kight was left wondering if they’d have a home to bring the newborn baby back to.
Water had gotten into the crawl space of the home and made it to within just several inches from the living room floor before beginning to recede Tuesday afternoon.
The sight of all the water in the street was incredible, Kight said.
Emergency workers blocked off the road as they attempted to clear debris from drains. They later brought in a pump to pull the water south onto King Street were it could flow into clear storm drains.
Carrie Slaughter, who lives on Adams Street, said it was crazy to see this much water, but that it didn’t compare to the 2008 flood. For parts of Tuesday morning, water encroached onto Adams Street in front of her house, but that was the extent of its reach this time around, she said.
Scott Summers’ downtown home had 4 to 6 inches of water in the basement, a far cry from the six feet that got into the home in the 2008 flood. This time at least, his basement pump had been able to get some of the water out, he said.
Throughout the day, multiple roads in Franklin were closed due to flooding, including parts of Main Street and Earlywood Drive. Multiple cars had still tried to drive through and had become stuck, especially in the Knollwood subdivision, Barnett said.
City officials also were pleading with drivers not to drive through flooded roads, especially on 14th Street where passing cars were pushing water into the homes, he said.
The flooded roads led city officials to ask residents in Northwood Apartments, along Cedar Lane off U.S. 31, to voluntarily evacuate since emergency vehicles would not be able to get in or out in an emergency, Barnett said. The American Red Cross opened a shelter at Franklin Community Middle School, but most people didn’t want to leave their homes, Barnett said. Only one person had come to the shelter by the afternoon when flood waters were receding, he said.
The flooding gave Barnett a sickening feeling and reminded him of the 2008 flood, which left dozens of homes damaged in Franklin.
By the afternoon, flood waters had started receding in neighborhoods and streets. The creeks still were expected to crest, but Barnett didn’t expect that to impact homes, he said.
“I do see it getting better. It’s been kind of a nerve-wracking day,” he said.