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Officials promise flooding solution

Motorists are assisted by local law enforcement officers while making their way through a flooded portion of SR-91 and Ackerson Creek Road, just north of Mountain City in Johnson County, TN, last week. Steady rain caused countywide flooding prompting local officials to take the dangerous road condition seriously and promise permanent solutions. Photo by Tamas Mondovics

By Meg Dickens
Freelance Writer

Johnson County is no stranger to flooding. Several areas in the community are prone to water overflow, which can lead to dangerous road conditions. Sadly, one of the most notorious road hazards during significant rainfall that is screaming for a remedy is the area around Ackerson Creek Road and Highway 91, just north of Mountain City in Johnson County, TN.
Conditions in this area
often lead to several inches to several feet of water impeding traffic both coming and going. That was the case this past Thursday when a rainy day led to large amounts of moving water covering the road to the point where drivers expressed concern about making it home. Flooding concerns led to schools closing the following day. Johnson County’s 911 CAD dispatch system sent out an alert, warning personnel of the danger and location at 7:30 a.m.
Officials are aware of the danger and taking steps to correct problems contributing to the issue. State Representative Scotty Campbell has met with local officials, such as County Mayor Mike Taylor and EMA Director Jason Blevins, to brainstorm how to move forward. Together, the group has been in touch with TDOT (Tennessee Department of Transportation) to look for a permanent solution to this safety issue.
“Scotty Campbell is checking with TDOT in Nashville on a solution to fix the flooding in the 6,000 block of HWY 91N near Ackerson Creek Rd,” explained County Commissioner Eugene Campbell. “If you will, please take the time to fill out the TDOT Maintenance Request Form to help show this is a problem.”
Campbell reached out to the community through social media to offer an update on Friday, February 25. In this update, he explained that the current condition is a “public safety issue” that cannot be left as it is. Officials, both locally and on the state level, are working to correct this as soon as possible.
“We had a conference call with TDOT at the state level to discuss the area of Ackerson Creek Road and Highway 91 in Johnson County,” Campbell announced. “The TDOT regional office and engineer are going to be looking at the terrain and creek to get this fixed. We can’t be having one, two, or three feet of water on a state highway. This is a public safety issue. We will continue to combine local and state resources to improve the situation.”
Anyone who would like to follow Commissioner Campbell’s suggestion can do so at tn.gov/tdot/maintenance/maintenance-request. At this point, officials are working towards a solution but have not reached one yet. In case of additional flooding in the meantime, find safety tips for dealing with flooding at tn.gov/tema/prepare/tennessee-threats/flood.