Just the Facts

Heavy winter rain wreaks havoc in the area

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Dan Finnerty

Tuesday, Jan. 9, brought with it unseasonably heavy precipitation to the Franklin area. Inches of not snow, but rain, fell in torrents. Public Works Director Bill Deal was front and center during the deluge.

“Normally it takes a couple days of rain to create situations like we saw on the 9th. This was over three and a half inches and fell within 12 hours,” said Deal. He also relayed that several municipalities experienced similar activity within their wastewater treatment systems. “There was no entry of overflow into any drinking water source. It merely flowed into the Little Tennessee River as designed,” he added.

THE LITTLE TENNESSEE overflowed its banks on Jan. 9, spilling onto the Little Tennessee Greenway.  Photo by Mark Krancer, Kram Kran Photo

The sanitary sewer overflow began at 12:30 p.m. during periods of intense precipitation and ended at approximately 12:30 a.m. Wednesday, Jan. 10. The total spill amount is estimated at 350,000 gallons. The discharge ended when the water levels subsided. All spill areas were contained and any adversely affected areas were cleaned as necessary. 

Another smaller discharge also took place, beginning at 9:45 a.m. on Jan. 9 and ending at 2:45 p.m. the same day, resulting in 14,000 gallons of untreated wastewater being released from three manholes off East Main Street and Crane Circle.

THE HEIGHT of the water at this playground in Macon County conveys just how much rain deluged the area in a short amount of time. Photo by Mark Krancer, Kram Kran Photo

During the times of overflow, precipitation was measured at 3.58 inches in Franklin.

As a matter of standard procedure, maintenance activities and sewer system rehabilitation are continually being performed to identify and correct issues to prevent any future overflows.