With rain mostly gone, flood potential grows

With rain mostly gone, flood potential grows

March 9th, 2011 by Adam Crisp in News

The National Weather Service says the most substantial part of this week's storm has passed, but it dumped slightly more rain than predicted.

Now, forecasters and emergency workers are turning their attention to flood-prone creeks, including South Chickamuaga Creek in East Ridge, which is within two feet of flood stage.

Forecasters predicted between two and three inches of rain. As of 1 p.m., just more than three inches fell at the Chattanooga Metropolitan Airport, according to the Weather Service.

"The main band of the storm has moved off to the east, but we still have a lot of flood warnings in effect," said David Hoatz, Weather Service meteorologist. "Just because the rain is over with doesn't mean the flooding is."

South Chickamauga Creek is growing more swollen by the hour. That creek, into which five North Georgia creeks flow before it empties into the Tennessee River, is predicted to go a half foot over flood stage around 1 p.m. Thursday, according to the Weather Service. Already, West Chickamauga Creek near Fort Oglethorpe is within a foot of flood stage.

"We thought there would be some problems with the South Chick, and it seems like there are," Hoatz said.

Lookout Creek near Trenton is already three feet above flood stage, but few homes have been impacted. It is predicted to crest at 7 p.m. tonight, according to the Weather Service.

Most creeks take 12 to 24 hours to reach their highest crest, so forecasters and emergency workers will now closely monitor creek levels.

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

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