South Fulton community cleaning up after flood


Reporter - Jason Hibbs
Photojournalist - Barry Stevenson

SOUTH FULTON, Tenn. - Flood waters have damaged multiple homes and businesses this year.  Now even more people, this time from South Fulton, Tennessee, are added to that list.

The mayor says he can't put a price on it, but this is what we know:  flood waters caused significant damage to eight businesses in a shopping center.  There were about six homes with water around them and in them, those families had to evacuate.  Most people started cleaning up Monday immediately after the waters receded, but they still have lots of work ahead of them.

Tollie Mason would be the first to tell you, he doesn't have a lot.

That's why he spent all night trying to save what he has.

"This house was full of mud and water," Mason said.

He's enlisted his daughter's help, but wants her to wear a mask so she doesn't breathe contaminants the water left behind.

The cleaning products that Northwest Tennessee Disaster Services donated helps, but Mason needs more.

He wants answers as to why the nearby creek couldn't hold all the rain.

Mayor Ed Cassetty said it's simple.

"Our problem was the rain fell so fast that our drains were trying to carry it away it was backing up in the drain," Cassetty said.

That's what caused these businesses to flood. Tuesday, owners are put in new flooring and the South Fulton Fire Department is cleaned the parking lot.

"People are trained for this sort of thing to some degree," Cassetty said.

The city's public works director said the state came in and inspected the roads and bridges that were closed across the city. They got an all clear and should be back open by Tuesday night.

Mason's cleanup will take a lot longer and he'll never forget it.

"I ain't never seen a flood like this, where you got to evacuate out your house, all that mess," Mason said.