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OOLTEWAH RESIDENTS STILL COPING WITH FLOODING AS MORE RAIN FALLS

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Even as more rain is in the forecast, some Ooltewah residents are still dealing with flooding from the last round.

That includes more than a million gallons of water near Hunter Road contaminated with fecal matter, according  to county officials.

Residents there say several feet of dirty water has been sitting on their properties for two weeks.

“Devastation, catastrophe almost,” said Bill Baker, who has lived in his home for more than 30 years. “It’s never been this bad.”

Outside, part of his heat and air unit remains underwater. So inside, he’s using space heaters to stay warm.

He estimates he has up to $12,000 worth of damage. He said they’re “pretty stressed.”

Amy Maxwell with Hamilton County Emergency Services says February’s rain caused about $1.7 million in damage and the department has started the process of applying for grants. Maxwell said TEMA submitted a request Thursday to have a geologist and a hydrologist assess the damage.

Residents have asked why the county has not helped them.

Maxwell said the property is privately owned and, because the water is contaminated, it can’t simply be pumped out; it needs to be stored and transported.

State Rep. Mike Carter met with residents this morning to hear their concerns and see what can be done to help.

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