Chattanooga area residents warned to brace for heavy rains, flooding

Chattanooga area residents warned to brace for heavy rains, flooding

March 8th, 2011 by Perla Trevizo in Local - Breaking News

Water pours out of all 11 spillways at Chickamauga dam in this file photo.

Water pours out of all 11 spillways at...

Photo by Dan Henry /Times Free Press.

Some light showers will start falling tonight in the Chattanooga area and will develop into heavy rain just as people are getting ready to go to work and school Wednesday, a local meteorologist said.

"The heavy rain will last pretty much through the morning and early afternoon hours," said WRCB-TV 3 meteorologist David Karnes. "It will start to taper off a little bit, but there will be scattered showers popping up on into late afternoon and Wednesday night."

Locally, two to four inches of rain might fall in isolated spots, Karnes said.

So far this month, there have been more than three inches of rain, compared to the 1.39-inch average for the area, he said.

Because the ground already is saturated from previous rains and the 10-to-30-miles-per-hour winds that are expected, shallow-rooted trees could topple over, Karnes said.

He is expecting at least isolated, if not widespread, flooding, he said.

Tennessee is in the nation's top 20 when it comes to disaster declarations, and most of those disasters have involved flooding, according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Tennessee ranks 14 in the country for the most federally declared disasters since 1953, when the record-keeping began, and 82 percent of the state's registered disasters have involved flooding.

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