Flash flood lives up to its name

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More rain possible this evening

By Stephen Lega

The City of Lebanon got a firsthand look at what “flash flood” means Monday afternoon.
Unofficially, Lebanon received four inches of rain in about 45 minutes, according to Marion County Emergency Management Director Hayden Johnson. The storm arrived before 5 p.m. Monday.
Johnson said almost every road in town was covered with water at some point during the storm. Johnson had not heard of any injuries, but the Red Cross did get a room at the Hampton Inn for one family from Derring Court.
There was one accident in the Riley Road area, but that was a minor accident he said.
So far, all the reports he’s heard have been limited to the Lebanon area.
“I haven’t heard of any other areas that have flooded,” Johnson said.
Marion County EMS, Rescue Squad and city workers are out working to fix problem spots, including the flooded ambulance service basement. City Administrator John Thomas said city crews were out until 8:30 or 9 p.m. Monday clearing problem spots.
“It was quite a storm,” Thomas said.
Thomas said the city received reports of streets covered with rain and several businesses reported water inside their buildings. The amount of rain that fell created drainage problems “simply because of the amount of rain that we got,” Thomas said.
“It blew leaves and tree limbs out and they clogged the drainage grates,” he added.
The worst reports of water over the street were in the area of Lebanon Power and Apparatus and Taylor Avenue.
“The water was probably a foot and half over the road there,” he said.
Several businesses reported water problems, according to Thomas. Citizens National Bank, Lebanon Florist, the beauty shops on S. Spalding Avenue, Cake and Crumb, Van Why Tax Service and Lebanon Health and Fitness all reported damage, he said.
Shawn Gibson at Citizens National Bank said he was one of a handful of employees who were still at the bank when the storm hit. He said they stayed until around 7 p.m. cleaning up.
The bank got a couple inches of water in the basement, but the water was around 6-8 inches high near the basement door, and he could tell it was higher out on the road.
“It was running like a river on Proctor Knott,” he said.
One of the hardest hit locations was the Marion County EMS building.
“We probably had two and a half to three feet of water in the basement,” EMS Director Robbie Turner said.
A couple computers, some chairs and tables received water damage, he added. Thankfully, the radio equipment was stored high enough that it did not get wet.
“It come a lot of rain,” Turner said. “It was ugly.”