Hawkins County landslide leaves community concerned


A landslide in Hawkins County on State Route 70 left one person dead and one injured. 

According to the Tennessee Highway Patrol Steven Lawson, 62, died. He was in one of the two cars swept away by the landslide. 

The landslide happened in the early hours of morning on Thursday.

Residents in the Hawkins County area express they were shocked when they first heard of it.

“I guess it was one of those thing that you see that in California, but you’d never expect that here in Hawkins County that you would wake up one day and just realize that they would have to be evacuated from their homes because of something like a landslide,” said Avery Fields, a Hawkins county resident.

At least three families were asked to evacuate and emergency responders say they’re still worried about what is yet to come.

“Right now all the mountain ranges we have we are concerned about,” said Gary Murrell, Hawkins County EMA Director. “We actually thought this morning that the slide wasn’t gonna be there. We thought it would be at the next curve but it was not there.”

One resident, Millard Hartley, has lived in the Rogersville area for over twenty five years. He has farmland on the other side of the State Route 70 landslide and is concerned the rain might make things worse.

“We’ve lived over here since 1993 and I have not seen it this wet in a long time,” Hartley said. 

Hartley also says he knew Steven Lawson’s family and is devastated by the tragedy.

“I didn’t know Steve, said Hartley. “I knew his family. They are good family oriented people and I’m just sorry this happened.”

According to the Tennessee Department of Transportation, the road will be closed long term.

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