Water, water everywhere, and no solutions yet

Larry Van GuilderAs I see it, Powell

The 19th-century American essayist and novelist Charles Dudley Warner coined the phrase, “Everybody complains about the weather, but nobody does anything about it.”


Some Knox County residents let commissioners know on Monday night they wanted something done about the effects of the weather.

Powell resident Angela Holmburg spoke of what has become near-annual flooding from runoff from a subdivision behind her home. February’s intense rains have exacerbated the situation.

“I’ve been told this was a 100-year flood and a 400-year flood,” she said, but her experience is at odds with those characterizations.

Mike Helms, like Holmburg an Anatole Lane resident, retired from KUB and knows something about dealing with water. He said when he moved into his “dream house” the yard was just the right size to consume a full tank of gas for a season’s worth of mowing. Now, “I can rent the backyard out to boats. You don’t plan on a flood when you don’t live in a flood plain.”

Holmburg and Helms blame the elevation of the neighboring development and an inadequately sized and deficiently built retention pond in the development.

Engineering and Public Works Director Jim Snowden said the department had commissioned studies of several chronically flooded areas and hoped to have some solutions in the near future.

Dr. Martha Buchanan of the Knox County Health Department was on hand to update commissioners on the county’s indigent care program. But first, she went straight to the headlines.

“In Tennessee, the biggest threat remains the flu. There are zero cases of coronavirus in Tennessee,” she said. Buchanan reminded listeners to wash their hands, cover their mouths when they cough and (it’s not too late) get a flu shot.

Returning to the main topic, Buchanan noted that Cherokee Health Systems has not lowered the number of enrollments or the number of prescriptions filled. Dr. Dennis Freeman, CEO of Cherokee, joined Buchanan in responding to questions about the seasonal effect on enrollments. Freeman said the time of year had no noticeable impact on the enrollment census.

Elizabeth Roland, founder and CEO of the TN-China Network, spoke briefly to allay fears about goods produced in China. Without dismissing the effect of the coronavirus on businesses worldwide, Roland noted there is no need to fear the virus is spread by Chinese products.

Larry Van Guilder is the business/government for KnoxTNToday.

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