Knoxville/ Crime & Emergencies
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Published on May 27, 2024
Injury and Indefinite Closure at Mead's Quarry in Knoxville After Sudden Rockslide IncidentSource: Knox County Tennessee

A significant rockslide at Mead's Quarry in Ijams Nature Center has led to injuries and the indefinite closure of the popular recreation spot. According to WVLT, the Knoxville Fire Department reported that the incident occurred just before 6 p.m. on Saturday when boulders plummeted into the water, sending out large waves that left one person injured and necessitated hospitalization.

Geologists are set to assess the damage following the rockslide that took out part of the large wall on the back side of Mead's Quarry, as reported by Knox News. Creating large waves after sliding into the water, three boulders caused the injury and, in response to the event, Ijams Nature Center has asked visitors to respect closure signs plastered around Mead's Quarry Lake and Tharp Trace Trail, where the rockslide has made these areas unsafe.

Matthew Lloyd, a local witness at the scene, recounted the chaos of the rockslide, where the rocks began to fall and suddenly, a large section of the rock face crashed into the water. The terrifying event captured on his Snapchat video showed the moment when the rocks disturbed the quarry's calm, generating a wave. "It hit really fast," Lloyd said in an interview with WATE, as he described the wave following the debris with greater fear than the falling rocks themselves.

The rockslide incident, which was once a working marble quarry, has also led to a heroism tale at Mead's Quarry that comes after the wave hit and a woman jumped into the water to save a friend. Lloyd, holding the hero's dog upon her request, said, "That girl is a hero," emphasizing the bravery exhibited during the unforeseen disaster. Despite his newfound wariness of quarry swimming, Lloyd praised the community's response in the face of danger, glad that no serious injuries resulted from the rockslide.

All other trails at Ijams Nature Center remain open for use, but there’s no current schedule for reopening the affected areas. The community is urged to exercise caution and heed the warnings issued by officials as they continue to investigate and secure the vicinity around Mead's Quarry.