Hardin County weathered Wednesday’s storms without major problems, but the rain the system dropped has now prompted a flood warning for the Tennessee River at Savannah.
Local firefighters did respond yesterday morning to three calls about lightning strikes in Hardin County all within an hour.
Fire Chief Melvin Martin said lightning ignited the corner of a retired firefighter’s home in Bruton Branch, causing relatively minor damage to a sun room.
On Yellow Creek Lane, workers at a metal cabin-type residence reported they found the building full of smoke. Firefighters determined lightning had struck a tree near a propane tank, and the current traveled along a copper propane line into the dwelling, causing a fire which damaged 3-4 feet of the wall behind a stove, he said.
Firefighters were also dispatched to Island View Drive in Pickwick regarding a smell of burning wires in a house, but no fire was found, Martin said.
Regarding the flood warning, at 2:15 p.m. Thursday the Tennessee River at Savannah was at 367 feet, or 3 feet below flood stage. Moderate flooding is forecast, and the river is expected to crest early Monday afternoon at 375.4 feet.
The TVA River Forecasting Center in Knoxville predicts the river will reach minor flood stage of 370 feet early Thursday evening.
“We’ll know more tomorrow morning. The storm dropped 6-7 inches along Wilson, Weaver and Guntersville” lakes, plus Pickwick Lake, said TVA spokesman Scott Fiedler on Thursday afternoon.
TVA has increased flow rates through Pickwick Dam from 109,964 cubic feet per second at 8 this morning to 157,495 at 3 this afternoon, the latest reported observation. TVA is predicting the flow rate through the dam will rise to 199,418 cubic feet per second on Saturday.
Fiedler advises that anyone with campers or other equipment or material in low-lying elevations along the river in Hardin County should move them how in preparation of the impending flooding.