Railroad Washed Out In Floods, Damaging Home

PORTLAND, Tenn. - A railroad track just south of Portland in Sumner County was damaged in Friday's storms after water from a creek broke through it like a failed levee. 

The damage occurred on the tracks near Old Gallatin Road and Keytown Road when the water pulled supporting rocks out from underneath the track, allowing the water to flow to the other side of the tracks. 

"When that broke through, it just let all that water from over there come in on me," James Scott, a homeowner on the other side of the tracks said.

Scott had no idea the flooding was going to be so severe, but when he woke up Friday morning, he had water crashing into his house and into his car, which ended up being lifted and thrown into his home by the flood waters. 

Scott was inside the home at the time with two family members and his dogs when the water hit.

"It just kept getting higher and higher and higher," Scott explained. "You heard that song, '5 Feet High and Rising'? That's what it was!" 

Scott worked to make sure his dogs would survive the flood by putting his smaller dogs on the roof of his home and putting the bigger dogs on top of mattresses, so they could float inside of the home as the water rose. 

The water ended up rising all the way up to Scott's chest, which is even higher than during the flood of 2010. 

Two of the dogs escaped the home and swam away, one of them was recovered, while one of them went missing.

Scott acknowledged he lives in a flood zone, but he believes the water wouldn't have been nearly as bad if the railroad track didn't break down, and if the extra water didn't come flowing into the already flooding creek on his side of the tracks. 

Because of that, Scott said he hopes crews will improve the integrity of the railroad tracks to help prevent the problem from happening again. 

CSX Employees were on site evaluating the extent of the damage, and representatives from CSX said safety is their top priority and they're working to understand all the impacts to the surrounding community as they make repairs to the tracks. 

CSX was actively working to restore freight service to local customers in the area as of Friday afternoon. 

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