TVA dike bursts, flooding homes in Tenn.
Monday, December 22nd 2008, 5:02 pm
By: News 9
HARRIMAN, Tenn. (AP) -- One resident of a flooded Harriman, Tennessee, neighborhood says she's "in shock."
An earthen dam holding back a 40-acre retention pond at a coal-burning power plant west of Knoxville collapsed early today, releasing a frigid mixture of water, ash and mud over hundreds of acres and damaging about a dozen homes.
Crystell Flinn's house was pushed off its foundations and driven more than 30 feet onto a road. She was away at the time, but her husband was trapped inside. Flinn says he had to kick out a window to get out of the house.
Emergency workers rescued people from two partially collapsed houses. A road and railroad track leading to the plant were also buried under several feet of dark gray mud.
Investigators are trying to determine what caused the dam to give way, but the Tennessee Valley Authority, which runs the plants, says heavy rains and freezing temperatures may be to blame.