published Monday, April 7th, 2014

Flood advisory for Hamilton, surrounding counties

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    A local road is seen flooded in the file photo, tile.

A flood advisory has been issued for Hamilton County and surrounding counties, including areas in North Georgia.

"Of course, people should not attempt to travel across flooded roads and should find alternative routes," said Derek Eisentrout, a forecaster for the National Weather Service office based in Morristown, Tenn. "It only takes a few inches of swiftly flowing water to carry away vehicles."

The Chattanooga area had about 2.3 inches of rain in the last 24 hours, records show.

"We have had a large area of rain move through overnight and to the southern valley. It looks like most areas received a little more than two inches of rain," Eisentrout said.

With strong showers and thunderstorms coming this afternoon, that could mean another inch of rain, he said.

As of 9:15 a.m., South Chickamauga Creek measurements came back at 13.4 feet and rising. The flood stage is 18 feet, which is expected to be reached by Tuesday morning.

Water is expected to flood Mack Smith Road in Catoosa County, Ga., near the golf courses.

Flood warnings also have been issued for Coahulla Creek near Keiths Mill and Dalton, the Conasauga River near Eton and portions of the river near Tilton, and West Chickamauga Creek near Fort Oglethorpe affecting Catoosa and Hamilton counties.

As of 10 a.m., measurements for Coahulla Creek were at 15.3 feet and rising. That creek floods at 16 feet and is expected to rise to 17 feet by this evening, according to the National Weather Service office in Peachtree City, Ga.

Before the latest rains, the annual rainfall was at 10.48 inches for the Chattanooga area. Normally, the area has about 15.57 inches of rain this time of year, Eisentrout said. At the same time last year, the area had 19.7 inches of rain.

"That can change overnight, as you can see we got two inches of rain," he said.

Looking ahead, there is a small chance of rain for Tuesday afternoon. For the rest of today, a line of showers and thunderstorm is expected this afternoon.

Temperatures are expected to drop this evening to 45 degrees.

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

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