published Wednesday, March 9th, 2011

With rain mostly gone, flood potential grows


by Adam Crisp
Water rushes over rocks on the W Road after heavy rains soaked the area overnight and through the morning. Staff Photo by Angela Lewis/Chattanooga Times Free Press
Water rushes over rocks on the W Road after heavy rains soaked the area overnight and through the morning. Staff Photo by Angela Lewis/Chattanooga Times Free Press

The National Weather Service says the most substantial part of this week’s storm has passed, but it dumped slightly more rain than predicted.

Now, forecasters and emergency workers are turning their attention to flood-prone creeks, including South Chickamuaga Creek in East Ridge, which is within two feet of flood stage.

Forecasters predicted between two and three inches of rain. As of 1 p.m., just more than three inches fell at the Chattanooga Metropolitan Airport, according to the Weather Service.

“The main band of the storm has moved off to the east, but we still have a lot of flood warnings in effect,” said David Hoatz, Weather Service meteorologist. “Just because the rain is over with doesn’t mean the flooding is.”

South Chickamauga Creek is growing more swollen by the hour. That creek, into which five North Georgia creeks flow before it empties into the Tennessee River, is predicted to go a half foot over flood stage around 1 p.m. Thursday, according to the Weather Service. Already, West Chickamauga Creek near Fort Oglethorpe is within a foot of flood stage.

“We thought there would be some problems with the South Chick, and it seems like there are,” Hoatz said.

Lookout Creek near Trenton is already three feet above flood stage, but few homes have been impacted. It is predicted to crest at 7 p.m. tonight, according to the Weather Service.

Most creeks take 12 to 24 hours to reach their highest crest, so forecasters and emergency workers will now closely monitor creek levels.

For complete details, see tomorrow’s Chattanooga Times Free Press.

Did you see flooding? How were the roads?

Post your photos and updates on conditions here on our Facebook page to help everyone out.

about Adam Crisp...

Adam Crisp covers education issues for the Times Free Press. He joined the paper's staff in 2007 and initially covered crime, public safety, courts and general assignment topics. Prior to Chattanooga, Crisp was a crime reporter at the Savannah Morning News and has been a reporter and editor at community newspapers in southeast Georgia. In college, he led his student paper to a first-place general excellence award from the Georgia College Press Association. He earned ...

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