‘We’re going to continue to press forward’ | Tellico Plains cleans up after flood

Neighbors in Tellico Plains are helping each other clean up after damaging floods Tuesday.
Neighbors in Tellico Plains are helping each other clean up after damaging floods Tuesday.
Published: Aug. 15, 2023 at 5:51 PM EDT
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TELLICO PLAINS, Tenn. (WVLT) - People in Tellico Plains are trying to figure out what’s next after floodwaters damaged homes, businesses and dozens of buildings.

Mayor Marilyn Parker told WVLT News all of Tellico Plains is facing flooding.

Previous Coverage: Tellico Plains water restored after flooding, schools closed Wednesday

Poplar Bluff Missionary Baptist Church is in the heart of one of the hardest-hit areas. Tuesday’s floods destroyed the church’s outdoor baptistery.

“We just rebuilt this pavilion and restored all of it to natural,” Pastor Roman Hamilton said. “When you have that kind of force coming out of those mountains... it’s just washed it all away.”

The church’s parking lot was also washed out. The fellowship hall was damaged, too.

The congregation at Poplar Bluff isn’t alone in cleaning up.

Friends, neighbors and even strangers volunteered to help clean up at downtown Tellico Plains shops. “We’re just trying to see what’s salvageable and what’s not,” said Fish Skinz Apparel owner, Anthony Broad.

Previous Coverage: Flooding causes Tellico Plains store and lodge to close for a week

Early Tuesday morning, Broad sent out a call for help on the business’s Facebook page. The response was immediate.

“We have more than we need now, so that’s great,” Broad said.

Worries remain for this small Monroe County town’s neighbors. “There are roads that are out. People can’t just travel to the grocery store. We’ve got to get water to them,” said Hamilton. “Somehow, we have to get groceries to them. They’re going to cut off the water soon.”

Hamilton said Poplar Bluff’s people are saddened to see their beloved church damaged, but they have faith they will rebuild.

“The Lord said we’ve been called to be the light of the world, the salt of the earth. This may be a bit of a setback, but by God’s grace and God’s strength, we’re going to continue to press forward,” Hamilton said.