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Weekend storm closes roads, knocks down trees

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Strong winds knocked out power to thousands and rising water closed roads throughout the county when a storm bringing more than 3 inches of rain passed through Johnson County during the weekend.

Those same storms also knocked down trees and phone lines and caused power outages for more than 2,000 Duke Energy Customers in Greenwood. Some businesses near Greenwood Park Mall had no power until Sunday afternoon, and a section of Fry Road was closed after a utility line snapped in strong winds.

By Sunday afternoon, debris was cleared from roads and power was restored, but officials were unsure when the flood water would recede and all the roads would open again.

No injuries were reported, but two men had to be rescued from rising water on a street in southern Johnson County, and at least one car got stuck on a flooded street.

The men got stuck in the 1000 block of E. County Road 600S, south of Franklin, after they tried to rescue a dog from high water. The Nineveh Fire Department was called, and the men were rescued after someone threw them a hose, Sheriff Doug Cox said. He was unsure if the men were rescued by firefighters or people in the area.

The sheriff’s office also received one report of a driver whose car got stuck in rising water. Drivers should never try to make it across a road that’s flooded, Cox said.

Multiple roads across the county were closed because of high water, including parts of Forsythe Street and Main Street in Franklin and roads along Mauxferry Road south of Franklin. Officials were unsure when they would reopen, and said that would depend on when flood waters went down.

About 3.7 inches of rain fell in Franklin between Thursday night and Sunday morning, and another half-inch was expected Sunday afternoon. The rain caused Young’s Creek and Sugar Creek to rise, emergency management director Stephanie Sichting said.

One Franklin resident called emergency dispatchers to report their basement was flooding, but by Sunday afternoon the city hadn’t received any other reports of homes or businesses that were flooded, Sichting and Franklin Deputy Police Chiefchief Chris Tennell said.

No additional flooding is expected, and the creeks should recede quickly, Sichting and Tennell said.

Most of the storm’s damage was reported in Greenwood after about 1 a.m. Sunday.

Dispatchers started receiving calls about trees being blown over and traffic lights that were out, assistant police chief Matthew Fillenwarth said.

At least two trees were knocked over by winds on Fry Road, east of State Road 135, and a third had been uprooted, Fillenwarth said.

Power outages were reported along County Line Road, between Greenwood Park Mall and State Road 135. About 2,185 homes and businesses lost power after equipment was damaged by the storm sometime between 1:30 and 3:30 a.m. Sunday, Duke Energy spokesperson Angeline Protogere said.

Power to homes was restored quickly, but remained out until Sunday afternoon for about 75 businesses along County Line Road because crews needed to get to underground equipment for the repairs, Protogere said.

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