published Thursday, May 5th, 2011

Officials worried on creek flooding


by Andy Johns

RINGGOLD FORECAST

Thursday: Sunny, with a high near 72.

Thursday night: Partly cloudy, with a low around 46.

Friday: A 20 percent chance of showers before 2 p.m. Mostly sunny, with a high near 72.

Friday night: Mostly clear, with a low around 47.

Saturday: A 20 percent chance of showers. Mostly sunny, with a high near 80.

Saturday night: Partly cloudy, with a low around 55.

Sunday: A 20 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Partly sunny, with a high near 85.

Source: National Weather Service

RINGGOLD, Ga. — While most people in Ringgold are worried about the trees on their houses and in roadways, Mayor Joe Barger said he’s worried about trees in creeks and ditches.

They could cause flooding if they clog the drainage networks, he said.

“We could flood Ringgold if we had a rain,” Barger told City Council members Tuesday.

South Chickamauga Creek and some of its tributaries run through Ringgold and Catoosa County, and many were bloated and muddy during Tuesday’s rain. Chattanooga received 0.87 inches Tuesday.

The weekend forecast calls for about a 20 percent chance of rain Friday through Sunday in Ringgold.

James Davis, with Catoosa County’s stormwater office, said the trees could present a problem, but public works staff has had other priorities — the aforementioned trees on roadways.

“That’s something we’re going to need to work on,” he said. “Right now, the main thing is just getting these roads clear.”

Bruce Castleberry, director of services for Dade County, said his county is in a similar boat. Crews planned to check Lookout and other area creeks today, but had focused on roads and houses first.

“Everybody’s just run ragged,” he said.

Bradley County Engineer Sandra Knight said there had been no reports of flooding caused by debris, and stormwater officials were not concerned that high water could become an issue.

Hamilton County Engineer Todd Leamon said the main concern would be debris plugging culverts under streets.

“If you plug up one end, that may lead to an issue on the upstream end,” he said.

But despite drenching rains Tuesday, there had not been any reports of backups or high water in the county, Leamon said.

East Ridge City Manager Tim Gobble said the city had not seen “a large number of trees down” and didn’t have any major concerns as of Wednesday afternoon.

He and other officials encouraged anyone who knew of debris blocking a creek or ditch to call city hall.

about Andy Johns...

Andy began working at the Times Free Press in July 2008 as a general assignment reporter before focusing on Northwest Georgia and Georgia politics in May of 2009. Before coming to the Times Free Press, Andy worked for the Anniston Star, the Rome News Tribune and the Campus Carrier at Berry College, where he graduated with a communications degree in 2006. He is pursuing a master’s degree in business administration at the University of Tennessee ...

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