Several Amity families displaced

About a dozen families were forced to leave their homes and are now displaced after waters began to rise in Amity, south of Franklin.

The owner of the small apartment building on U.S. 31 in Amity said she got a call from a resident about 2 a.m. Wednesday telling her water was coming into her apartment.

“I came over here and told everyone to grab as much of their stuff as they could, then to evacuate because it was going to flood even worse,” said Millie Stemle, owner of the apartment building.

She was right. Within hours, a foot of water was standing in each of the rooms.

“The residents were in complete shock, but they were glad I got them out in time to save their things,” Stemle said.

On Wednesday, some of those residents remained outside the apartment building because they weren’t sure where to go, Johnson County Emergency Management Director Stephanie Sichting said.

As soon as Sichting heard about the people sitting outside of their flooded apartments, she asked health department workers to go tell them about the county’s emergency shelter, open to anyone who needed a place to stay. The shelter is planned to remain open for as long as people need it, she said.

The United Way of Johnson County and American Red Cross were working with residents to help them find a place to stay, she said.

Many went to stay with relatives, Stemle said.

Amity, Edinburgh and other areas in southern Johnson County had become a key concern Wednesday afternoon, as water from further north continued to flow south, Sichting said.

In Amity, fields near County Road 300S and County Road 350S were underwater, and officials were watching other areas further south, she said. Youngs Creek reached as high as 12 feet, when flood stage is 7 feet.

In Edinburgh, no flooding had been reported by Wednesday afternoon, Edinburgh Fire Chief Allen Smith said.

He expects the river levels to rise by today due to water from further north, where as much as 7 inches of rain fell within a 24-hour period.

“The water will start to rise in the river, but it won’t be a big issue,” Smith said. “I doubt we see any flooding in Edinburgh.”