Litter, debris can make flash flooding that much worse

(Photo: WKRN)

GALLATIN, Tenn. (WKRN) – Preventing the kind of flash flooding we saw in Sumner County can be as simple as using trash cans.

Litter and debris can compound the problem, leaving water with nowhere to go.

News 2’s Joseph Pleasant spoke with a work crew as they try to clear some of those creeks so the water would recede.

On days like Friday, it becomes clear why cities tell you not to litter. Because when it rains and floods, that litter can cause problems.

Roads were covered with so much water they were impassable. Creeks were swollen to the point that they overflowed their banks.

PHOTOS: Sumner County flooding

(Photo: WKRN)

Sumner County saw what Mother Nature can do and how a man can make her impact that much worse.

“We got called off another job so we could come help get this traffic going for the school,” said Rob Cox with the City of Hendersonville.

Cox said what people throw away and throw out can end up in creek beds. It may not be a big deal when it’s dry, but when we have flash flooding like Friday, all those items add up.

They back up drainage systems fast, giving excess water nowhere to go.

(Photo: WKRN)

“Cans, bottles, all the things like that… they add up and they will clog the drainage for us,” he explained.

Clearing the system has dangers of its own.

“That’s a heavy old log right there. I wouldn’t want to be standing in the middle of that. Not even in a couple inches. It will knock you off your feet,” Cox said of the large log found near the flooding.

“We don’t deal with that. We wouldn’t wade out there or anything,” he added.

Cox and his work crew got the road back open in time for parents to get their kids from school. After that, it was on to the next road and next mission, clearing the way for the water.