Tennessee town finds 27 basketballs, other sports gear clogging drain

By Graham Wood

After a constantly backed-up drain in Parrottsville, Tenn., caused $1,200 in flood damage to the nearby Parrottsville Inn during rainstorms, the hotel's owner was fed up. He called on the town to correct the problem, and what officials found as the culprit of the blockage shocked everyone.

Twenty-seven basketballs, seven to 10 footballs and several baseballs and helmets were pulled from the drain over a three-day period, Knoxville TV station WBIR reported. Some of the items could date back to the 1940s, officials said.

"We just couldn't believe it," Parrottsville Mayor Mary Keller told WBIR. "We thought [the backup] was from all the dirt."

Officials said the sports gear probably got there because there was no grate on the drain.

The fix was a relief for Parrottsville Inn owner Raymond Robinson, who told WBIR that the back-up was "completely wiping out our mulch when it would flood."

Town officials decided to give the recovered basketballs and footballs to kids in the community. And that's perfect timing because in November, the town opened up a new basketball court.

Robinson said he is glad that the problem was resolved in a way that benefits everyone.

"We love the kids around here," he said.


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