High water a problem for drivers in East Tennessee

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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- Standing water on Ailor Avenue was a big problem all day on Sunday.

"This is the first time this has happened. I've been here five years and this is the first time it's happened and got up to here like that," said Joann Hart, who works at the Economy Inn on Ailor Avenue.

Hart looked out of the Economy Inn's window around 10:30 and saw two SUVs and a car stuck in over four feet of water. Nathanael Soulje was one of the drivers.

"When I came down here it was still pouring rain, so I was trying to focus on keeping an eye on the lights and making sure no one was in front of me. Next thing I know, I take a glance down at the road and there's a giant puddle down here," said Soulje.

He decided to drive through.

"The water was murky when I came up to it. So it was hard to tell how deep it was, for me at least," said Soulje.

The water was too deep to make it out.

"I wound up at the deepest portion, which I think was in front of this brown building and the car stalled," said Soulje.

The other two vehicles that drove through stalled out too, and had to be towed away.

"It looked like a waterfall, like something you can swim in. It was up to my waist, and I'm 6'3"," said James Ezell, with Sam's Automotive.

Luckily for Soulje, his SUV started up again after firefighters pushed him out. But he's learned his lesson:

"From now on, if I can see that it's deep, or if I even think it's deep, I'm going to take a detour. Like straight up," said Soulje.

Advice authorities hope everyone follows.

The fire department says hydroplaning is another problem when it comes to standing water on the roads, and said slowing down will help keep everyone safer.

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