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Ann Ball with Chattanooga Presents sets up a fence around the stage in preparation for the 3 Sisters Bluegrass Festival at Ross's Landing amid rainy weather Friday, Oct. 2, 2015, in Chattanooga, Tenn. The festival is set to continue despite inclement weather expected through the weekend.
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Eric Taylor climbs down from checking stage supports in preparation for the 3 Sisters Bluegrass Festival at Ross's Landing amid rainy weather Friday, Oct. 2, 2015, in Chattanooga, Tenn. The festival is set to continue despite inclement weather expected through the weekend.

More Info

Still on

3 Sisters Bluegrass Festival

Wine Over Water

Tennessee Valley Pride Festival

Cumberland Hispanic Festival, Crossville

Rescheduled

Autumn Children’s Festival, to Oct. 10-11

Tennessee River Rescue, to Oct. 17

As Hurricane Joaquin travels up the Atlantic Coast this weekend, it's pushing moisture into the Chattanooga area that's postponing several festivals and causing havoc on the roads.

A number of car accidents were reported Thursday and Friday, although it's unclear if weather played a role in all of them. A toddler was killed on Boy Scout Road, a car veered off the side of Mowbray Mountain and a woman died in a Dalton, Ga., crash.

The Autumn Children's Festival was postponed to the Oct. 10-11 weekend because the grounds were unmanageable, a news release said. Another release stated Tennessee River Rescue day was rescheduled for Oct. 17 so volunteers weren't subject to "unfavorable" conditions all day.

But some festivals are pushing on no matter what the weather entails — unless things get really bad. Carla Pritchard, Chattanooga Presents executive director, said the 3 Sisters Bluegrass Festival at Ross's Landing falls into that category.

The music festival kicked off Friday night, and Pritchard said that as of Friday afternoon there was only a light drizzle. They've gotten lucky in the past with beautiful weather. But forecasts for Saturday call for heavy rainfall.

"You really can't grind it to a halt," Pritchard said. "You're doing what you can, but you have contracts."

The city helped out with hay bales to combat muddy conditions. Pritchard expects to see more ponchos and pitch-up tents. There are no anti-umbrella rules or anything like that, but Pritchard hopes people are respectful of other festivalgoers sitting behind them and don't block their view.

"We're watching for the hurricane weather," she said. "And we're more optimistic than we were yesterday."

Forecasts Friday evening called for 2 to 4 inches of rain over the weekend in the Chattanooga area, said National Weather Service meteorologist Mary Black in the Morristown, Tenn., office.

There's a 70-80 percent chance of rain Saturday, falling to a 50-60 percent chance Saturday night into early Sunday morning, Black said. All day Sunday has a 40-50 percent chance of rain. Highs Saturday will dip into the low 60s and Sunday the temperatures should get back up into the lower 70s, she said. There's also a flash flood warning in effect all weekend to the east of Chattanooga.

The Tennessee Valley Authority is anticipating a large amount of water coming into the area's lakes and rivers. To account for the extra water, they lowered the levels of their reservoirs to reduce the chance of flooding, TVA spokesman Jim Hopson said.

Millions of gallons of water have already been moved ahead of threatening weather as far away as West Virginia. With the heaviest rainfall expected along the Atlantic Coast, TVA has to be ready to take on the extra water, Hopson said.

"Normally we don't have this kind of level of rain where we can get out in front of this," Hopson said. "We want to make sure we have as much storage capacity as possible."

Ann Gray, executive director at Cornerstones, said the Wine over Water festival will go on rain or shine. They'll have tents where wine is being served, so patrons' beverages aren't watered down.

"We've had some of our funner years in the rain," she said.

Contact staff writer Evan Hoopfer at ehoopfer@timesfreepress.com, @EvanHoopfer on Twitter or 423-757-6731.

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