Unicoi County is preparing for additional rainfall


UNICOI COUNTY, Tenn. (WJHL)- One area hit hard by recent flooding was Unicoi County which had to close multiple roads countywide due to flooding and even small landslides.

Uncle Johnny’s Hostel and Outfitters sits right alongside the Nolichucky River in Erwin.

Last week River Road, where Uncle Johnny’s Hostel and Outfitters sits, was closed due to heavy flooding which made it difficult for those to get home who live in the area.

Previous story: Damaged road in Unicoi Co. could take weeks to repair, impacting residents

Unicoi County Emergency Management Officials are watching the area as more rain moves in throughout the region.

“We’ve been dealing with rock slides, water crossing the roads from the mountainside, water coming in on the roads from the ditches and the little creeks,” said Unicoi County Emergency Management Director Ed Herndon.

He said the Nolichucky is looking stable at the moment but other areas of the county have seen some severe impact.

“We just have to watch the weather forecast, the weather radar. The road departments are still working on ditches and culverts which is you know a year-round job, but right after a heavy rain we have to get on it real quick,” said Herndon.

Uncle Johnny’s Hostel and Outfitters caters to Day and Thru-hikers.

Owner, Charlotte Shores said that the rain had led to a bump in business for the early part of the thru-hiking season.

“Over the years I have seen a lot of flooding. There’s been a lot more flooding then this. This is pretty much a flood but we haven’t had the washouts that we use to,” said Shores.

She’s been selling rain gear to hikers who have been coming into her store soaked.

“Hikers the one thing they really don’t like about the rain so much is that the gear, it’s hard to find the appropriate gear. They’re definitely wanting more rain gear,” said Shores.

With more rain in the forecast, the message for both hikers and those living in the county is the same,

“Be very careful. If it looks like it’s more than a couple of inches don’t go,” said Ed Herndon.

The Unicoi County Emergency Management Director said there are no road closures in Unicoi County due to this rainfall at this time.

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