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NEWS RELEASES
City of Knoxville, Tennessee
Madeline Rogero, Mayor
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For Immediate Release
City Responds to Storm Damage
April 26, 2011 - City of Knoxville Public Service Department crews will work into the evening for at least several hours tonight clearing roads and removing debris from Monday evening's storm.

Public Works teams will also be on hand for any problems resulting from storms forecast for the Knoxville area this evening.

Public Service Deputy Director David Brace said Tuesday that much of the Service Department worked throughout the night Monday after the powerful early evening storm left downed trees, flooding and other damage across a large swath of the center city.

"We had over 150 limbs or downed trees across roadways last night that we had to clear, that doesn't include damage or debris in parks or across greenways," Brace said. "We are working diligently to get caught up."

At one point, he said, at least 20 streets in the Fort Sanders Neighborhood alone were blocked by downed limbs and trees and multiple crews from the City and KUB were required to deal with blockages and power outages.

Multiple crews from the department's construction, service area and horticulture divisions joined the fulltime "tree" or arbor crew that typically deals with down public trees and limbs. Crews were at work by early evening and many were still working this morning.

Normally the Public Service Department Arbor crew responds to downed trees but Brace said, "They were immediately overwhelmed by the sheer volume of requests requiring us to respond to incidents based on priority."

Brace indicated that Alcoa Highway near Montlake, Sequoyah Hills, Fort Sanders, Fourth & Gill, Old North, Belle Morris and several other neighborhoods in North and Northeast Knoxville were the hardest hit by the storm.

Dozens of traffic signals were also knocked out during the storm and traffic engineering crews were still trying to restore all of them Tuesday afternoon.

"I've got people who have been here since 8 a.m. yesterday morning," said Chief Traffic Engineer John Hunter. "They've been working to restore signals since the storm rolled through here last night."

Hunter said at least four signals are still a problem due to power line issues or falling trees having damaged the city's signal equipment and the office is still verifying other signals.

"Fort Sanders and the University of Tennessee have been the hardest hit areas for us," Hunter said.
For Immediate Release
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