published Monday, November 28th, 2011

Rainfall in Chattanooga-area could reach 5 inches today due to flooding

by Naomi Jagoda
James Tanner clears leaves and debris from a clogged culvert on Highway 27 in Soddy-Daisy Monday afternoon.
James Tanner clears leaves and debris from a clogged culvert on Highway 27 in Soddy-Daisy Monday afternoon.
Photo by Angela Lewis.
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The weather service has issued a flood watch for Bledsoe, Bradley, Hamilton, Marion, McMinn, Meigs, Polk, Rhea and Sequatchie counties in Tennessee and Catoosa, Chattooga, Dade, Fannin, Gilmer, Gordon, Murray, Walker and Whitfield counties in Georgia through late tonight.

A flood watch means that conditions are favorable for heavy rain, which may lead to flooding.

Chattanooga-area residents can expect to start the post-Thanksgiving week with several inches of rain that could lead to flooding.

Rain began Sunday and is expected to dump 3 to 5 inches across Southeast Tennessee through tonight, the National Weather Service predicts. North Georgia could get 2 to 4 inches.

Matt Sena, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Peachtree City, Ga., said smaller creeks could flood overnight Sunday, which could lead to flooding in larger creeks and streams today.

"The potential [for flooding] is there," he said.

Additionally, the weather service is reporting a flash flood watch for Coffee, Cumberland and Grundy counties through this afternoon. Flash floods occur when there is a lot of rain in a short time, and this is usually when bridges and roads wash out, said Derek Eisentrout, a weather service meteorologist in Morristown, Tenn.

Sena suggested that those who live by creeks pay attention to the rainfall, and that drivers look for clogged drains because of fallen leaves that could lead to water on roads.

As of Sunday evening, there had been no road closures in Chattanooga or Hamilton County, officials said.

Eisentrout recommended that people pay attention to weather reports.

"You really need to keep yourself informed," he said.

Snow also is a possibility this week in North Georgia. Sena said that Tuesday morning, some of the precipitation could become snow, though there isn't expected to be much if any accumulation.

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