Mudslide Washes Away Subway Restaurant At Foot Of Signal Mountain; Nearby Employee Says: "It's Gone"; Flooding Closes Numerous Roads

Saturday, February 23, 2019
- photo by John Wilson

A mudslide on Saturday morning washed away the Subway restaurant at the foot of Signal Mountain.

"The Subway is gone," an employee of the nearby Shuford's Barbeque, said.

She said a large amount of mud and debris washed down from the steep hillside behind the buildings.

No one was inside the Subway.

It had closed on Friday after a tree fell on it.

The location is 920 Signal Mountain Road. Shuford's is at 924 Signal Mountain Road.

Bruce Garner, Fire Department spokesman, said, "The extra heavy rainfall this area has received during the past week has kept first responders busy, responding to numerous wrecks, downed trees and rescuing motorists who drove their vehicles onto flooded roads.

The impact of all the heavy rain was never more apparent this morning, when a landslide completely destroyed a Subway restaurant at the base of Signal Mountain on Signal Mountain Road.  

"Fortunately, the manager of the business, Owen Megahee, had closed the business Friday after a tree on the hillside behind the restaurant fell on an employee's car. Mr. Megahee said he could see rocks and soil continue to fall down the hill, and several trees were leaning out too, so he closed his business Friday afternoon and kept it closed  today. Had the restaurant been open when the landslide occurred, Battalion Chief Don Bowman said several people could have been injured or killed.

"Shuford's Smokehouse is located a few hundred feet away. Inspectors with Chattanooga's building inspection department and the engineering department with Hamilton County inspected the hillside behind Shuford's and said there was potential for a landslide there as well. After conferring with Assistant Chief Danny Hague with Special Operations, the owners of Shuford's were advised to close their business. 

"Chattanooga police helped the firefighters close off the lane of Signal Mountain Road closest to the landslide. Firefighters with Quint 17 cut off part of a downed tree that was hanging over the road. Chief Bowman said the barricades will remain there until the endangered area has been deemed safe."
 
Residents in low-lying areas of Sequatchie County were being asked to evacuate due to rising floodwaters.
 
 A shelter has been set up at the Sequatchie County Rescue Squad on Rankin Avenue.

 

Subway Restaurant was still standing on Friday
Subway Restaurant was still standing on Friday
- photo by WTVC

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