published Monday, July 22nd, 2013

Greater Chattanooga area braces for more rainfall

  • photo
    Rob McLean puts his hand out as a few raindrops fall while talking Wednesday about flood damage to his Holly Avenue home in South Pittsburg, Tenn.
    Photo by Angela Lewis.
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Residents in low-lying areas of Southeast Tennessee are keeping their eyes on the skies this week as heavy rain has the potential to create more localized flooding around the region.

Scattered thunderstorms Sunday dumped anywhere from a quarter-inch to 1 inch of rain in nearby counties, according to the National Weather Service.

McMinn and Meigs counties each had at least .44 inch of rain Saturday. Rhea County was under a flash flood watch from 12:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Sunday, and Polk County was under a flood advisory until 6:45 p.m.

And the weather service said more rain is on the way. A weak surface front just north of the Tennessee border was expected to linger overnight Sunday with the potential to create heavy storms, including large hail, into today throughout the region.

Chances of rain will decrease as the week goes on, yet should still remain above average for the region until Saturday.

"These things aren't particularly fast, so they stay in the area for a period of time," said Mary Black, NWS meteorologist in the Morristown office.

The new rain will fall on ground already saturated from an abnormally wet spring and summer.

Regions like South Pittsburg, Tenn., still are recovering from heavy rains during the July 4 weekend, when a stalled storm dumped more than 4 inches in just a couple of hours. A surging torrent of runoff water flooded homes and businesses in the town, reaching 2 feet or more in places.

Chattanooga has measured nearly 47 inches of rain to date this year, almost 17 inches above its average rainfall for the period.

Contact staff writer Jeff LaFave at 423-757-6592 or jlafave@timesfreepress.com.

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