Officials in the town of Parrottsville, Tenn., said they finally solved the mystery of what's been causing area flooding for a number of years: The drains were clogged with dozens of sports balls.

WBIT-TV reported that the flooding in the eastern Tennessee town was so bad it cost the Parrottsville Inn, a local bed and breakfast, more than $1,200 in yard repairs.

"It was completely wiping out our mulch when it would flood," Parrottsville Inn owner Raymond Robinson told the TV station.

Mayor Mary Keller called for an inspection of area drains to help the inn and said crews were shocked to find 27 basketballs, seven to 10 footballs and numerous baseballs and helmets clogging a drain near the structure.

Keller told WBIT that the drain lacked a grate and that the sports equipment -- some dating back to the 1940s -- likely got pulled in during storms.

"We just couldn't believe it," Keller said. "We thought it [the backup] was from all the dirt."

But rather than discarding all the balls, the mayor had them patched up and filled with air, and then handed them out to children in the community.

According to the TV station, for many of the recipients it was their first sports ball.

"The kids, we love the kids around here," Robinson said.

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