Newport Police Chief Maurice Shults said crews will monitor the Pigeon River, which runs parallel with downtown

9:00 AM, Nov 29, 2011   |    comments
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"When it gets up to these blocks it's time to back up and get out," Newport resident Jay Love said pointing nearly seven feet above the ground.  His home is along the Pigeon River in Newport.

"Just depends on what happens in North Carolina and the weather up there. Lately the weather's been bad and we get all the weather they get up there," he said.

However, he'll have to wait a little longer to see what Monday's dreary deluge has done to the nearby river.

It didn't have an immediate impact to Cocke County. During some of the afternoon, you could see blue skies, while most other areas were under those ominous black clouds.

However, officials said they know what happens in other areas could make an impact on theirs.

"We have a plan in place. We already communicated today. We had a teleconference with the 911 director," said Newport Police Chief Maurice Shults. "We are expected to have a foot and a half above flood stage."

Chief Shults said they have crews on standby in case any roads start flooding. Newport has experienced several cases of flooding in the past. He hopes an upgraded drainage system installed a few years ago there will help prevent another case.

"Those actually vent better and actually pulls the water downstream instead of making it stand."

Between 3:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. Monday, water rose about 6-8" in the Pigeon River, specifically in Cocke County. No water was on the roads that night, but Chief Shults said it'll be a long night for rescue crews.

"Everyone prepared- is on standby... we will notify the people that live on the Pigeon River and some business owners close by," the chief said.

It'll also be a long night for neighbors too, like Jay Love.

"Keep an eye on (the waters) and hope for the best," he said.

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