Drowning death reported in Lawrence County - WDAM - TV 7 - News, Weather and Sports

Drowning death reported in Lawrence Co.; flooding impacting multiple counties

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Flood damage on McCord Hollow and Darbytown Road in Hohenwald Flood damage on McCord Hollow and Darbytown Road in Hohenwald
Ralph Barr was headed to his favorite grocery store when he was swept away in the floods. (Family photo) Ralph Barr was headed to his favorite grocery store when he was swept away in the floods. (Family photo)
Channel 4 viewer Jordan sent in this photo of flooding in Summertown. Channel 4 viewer Jordan sent in this photo of flooding in Summertown.
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SUMMERTOWN, TN (WSMV) -

Multiple counties are reporting flooding after storms swept through the area, and one flood-related drowning has been reported in Lawrence County.

Ralph Barr was headed to the grocery store when he tried to cross flooded Denson Road, lost control of his vehicle and drowned.

Dora Barr says when her husband left the house, she had no idea he would never return.

"He said, 'You go back to bed. I'm going to go up to Clark's, and I will be back in a little while. And I'll fix us some breakfast,'" Dora Barr said.

Flood water swept through the street, but the 72-year-old man decided to drive through. It was a decision that cost him his life.

"I waited and waited, and he meet did come back. I called his son and he hadn't heard from him," Dora Barr said.

The strong and deceiving currents where too forceful. Ralph Barr was swept beyond a ditch nearly 100 yards into the flooded woods, trapped inside his wife's small car. He never made it out.

"The water was running so swift through there. I guess he didn't know the road had been washed out. With that big of a tide and a small car, it went right down," said friend Kayla Clark.

When he didn't show up, his friends at Clark's Grocery knew something was wrong.

"We were shocked. I knew he hasn't showed up that morning, but sometimes he would be here at 6 in the morning," said friend Ruth Clark.

In dangerous weather, the close-knit Summertown community is now hoping everyone will heed the warnings: if you see standing water, don't chance it, turn around.

"Everybody will be praying for his wife and everybody," Kayla Clark said.

There are 15 to 20 places in Lawrence County where officials say roads have washed out after heavy rains and flooding. The worst of the flooding is said to be between Ethridge and Summertown.

At least 5 more inches of rain are expected in Lawrence County over the next few days, so drivers are warned to be on alert for quickly changing conditions.

Lewis County officials say several roads have been impacted by flooding and Newberg Road has washed out. Tiny Creek is about 8 to 10 inches above what it was on April 28, the date of the last flooding event in the area.

And much of the concrete surface was washed away on McCord Hollow and Darbytown Road in Hohenwald.

In Perry County, Highway 438 and Main Street are flooded and Lobelville is experiencing major flooding issues. The dock at Crooked Creek Marina broke lose but has since been secured.

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