published Tuesday, November 29th, 2011

Flooding widespread across Chattanooga region and North Georgia

Areas of Tallent Lane in Spring City, Tenn., are flooded by the overflowing Piney Creek on Monday afternoon.
Photo by Kimberly McMillian
Areas of Tallent Lane in Spring City, Tenn., are flooded by the overflowing Piney Creek on Monday afternoon. Photo by Kimberly McMillian
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Most counties in Southeast Tennessee and North Georgia had widespread flooding but no major problems after relentless rains began Sunday, officials said.

Across the region, Rhea County reported the most problems early on, with flooding in the Spring City area and the closure of schools across the county.

Rhea County Executive George Thacker said Monday afternoon that the Tennessee Valley Authority had placed monitoring devices along the creeks because water levels continued to rise.

In Hamilton County, Clifton Hills Elementary School closed early because of flooding in the area and schools in the rest of the system dismissed an hour early.

Hamilton County Schools are on a two-hour delay today and there will be no child care services this morning, officials said.

Water on roads

In Meigs and McMinn counties, numerous roads were affected by high water but schools stayed on schedule for the day.

Early Monday, Meigs County officials closed four roads and by the afternoon had closed another 10, according to sheriff's office officials.

Those closures and the weather forecast were not expected to create any school delays in Meigs today, officials said.

On Monday afternoon, McMinn officials still had not made a decision on today's school schedule.

Bradley County and Cleveland officials reported no flooding problems and only weather-related traffic accidents in the wet weather's aftermath. Officials said there were no plans to change school start times.

Delayed school starts:

TENNESSEE

Bledsoe: 2 hours

Bradley: No delay

Cleveland: No delay

Grundy: TBD

Hamilton: 2 hours

Marion: 90 minutes

McMinn: TBD

Meigs: No delay

Polk: 2 hours

Rhea: 2 hours

Sequatchie: 2 Hours

GEORGIA

Catoosa: 2 hours

Dade: No delay

Walker: 2 hours

Whitfield: No delay

Source: School system officials

Early release from school

Officials in Bledsoe, Marion and Sequatchie counties, west of Chattanooga, reported widespread flooding on roads Monday.

Bledsoe County dispatchers said heavy rains forced officials to release students at 1 p.m. CST to allow bus drivers time to navigate the mess.

Officials said most road closures in the Sequatchie Valley were on "the usual" routes that are hit worst when heavy rains push the Sequatchie River out of its banks.

For today, schools in Marion County are on a 90-minute delay and Bledsoe classes are delayed for two hours, officials said. Bledsoe officials said the delay could become a closure if the weather warrants it.

Marion County Schools on Monday released some students who live in the Coppinger Cove area because flooding was making access to that area difficult, officials said.

Sequatchie County Director of Schools Johnny Cordell said today's classes would be delayed by two hours.

Grundy County students were released at noon to give bus drivers time to get through their routes, according to officials. No decision had been made late Monday on today's plans.

Georgia roads affected

In North Georgia, many roads in Dade and Catoosa counties were underwater but only a few were closed from the heaviest rains during the day Monday, according to officials.

Catoosa officials said they had to close Nashville Street at the train trestle in town Monday morning, but most other roads remained passable.

By midafternoon, Catoosa officials said the list of roads with water across them had increased by a couple but Nashville Street remained the only road closed to traffic.

Catoosa County Schools officials reported no flooding problems at any schools, but because rains were expected to continue through the night, the decision was made to release students who drive early on Monday.

  • Snow possible as rain soaks Chattanooga
    More than three inches of rain fell within the last 30 hours and more rain is expected Tuesday. The rain, combined with temperatures in the low 30s may cause snow in western Tennessee and a rain/snow mix for the Tennessee Valley.

The school system will open on a two-hour delay today, according to schools spokeswoman Marissa Brower. Catoosa buses ran their usual schedule Monday.

Dade County Schools Superintendent Shawn Tobin said the three-school system will remain on its regular schedule today.

Walker County, Ga., officials said flooding was widespread but not serious, and Whitfield officials in Georgia reported no closures and few flooding problems during steady, light rains Monday.

Schools in Walker County, however, will begin on a two-hour delay today, officials said.

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about Ben Benton...

Ben Benton is a news reporter at the Chattanooga Times Free Press. He covers Southeast Tennessee and previously covered North Georgia education. Ben has worked at the Times Free Press since November 2005, first covering Bledsoe and Sequatchie counties and later adding Marion, Grundy and other counties in the northern and western edges of the region to his coverage. He was born and raised in Cleveland, Tenn., a graduate of Bradley Central High School. Benton ...

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