First responders thanked after Carter County flooding


Exactly two weeks after heavy rain swept through parts of Carter County, emergency crews were treated to a 'Thank You' dinner for their quick response.

Flooding in Carter County impacted not only the Roan Mountain community, but the state park as well. Emergency crews said several homes were damaged, displacing families. Also, Cloudland High School's gym flooded. The gym floor must not be replaced.

Sleeves rolled up, state leaders Timothy Hill and Rusty Crowe dished out BBQ to a deserving crowd.

"When the community needed these folks, they were here for us," Hill said. These first responders did not waste any time, once the flooding started on October 23.

"Big thing about this one - It came up quickly," Carter County EMA director Gary Smith said. "It was kind of unexpected. We didn't really have any warning."

"People were in their homes and didn't even realize what was happening," Crowe added.

Crews worked quickly to calls of families displaced from their homes, bridges swept away and roads covered in debris.

"The highest level I would say in the roadways was about two feet," Carter County Highway Superintendent Roger Colbaugh said.

It took highway crews four days to clear everything and re-open roads.

"Pipes washed out, the shoulder of the roads washed out, trees in the road," Colbaugh explained the damage.

State Representative Hill showed us pictures from Roan Mountain State park, one of the areas hardest hit.

"The first responders, the road crews have been great ever since - Just trying to dig out, get life back to normal," Hill said.

While emergency crews said there were no issues coordinating with each department, Senator Crowe said the state is creating a new system to streamline emergency calls between first responders on all levels - city, county and state.

"It's the result of all of the disasters in the state that we've had," Crowe added.

Senator Crowe said it should be in place within the next year.

"Any kind of system that we can use to get the word out and make sure that everyone is notified is great," Smith said.

Smith encourages people to sign up for the Carter County alert system. You can do so here:

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