Flash flooding expected in Chattanooga this week

Flash flooding expected in Chattanooga this week

February 18th, 2019 by Mark Pace in Local Regional News

Area residents will have to deal with heavy rain and flash flooding for much of this week.

Monday is expected to be the only clear day of the week, with a high above 50 degrees, before heavy rain is forecasted every day Tuesday through the weekend, according to WRCB-TV Channel 3 meteorologist Alison Pryor.

"People living in a low-lying or flood-prone areas should be aware of that and have a plan in place," she said. "It's always better to be safe than sorry."

The Chattanooga area will likely see between 6 to 9 inches of rain between Tuesday and Sunday, Pryor said, with some local areas seeing more. Pryor reminds residents who come across high water to turn around and avoid it. That is not only for residents' own safety but also for the safety of first responders, she said.

The area will see the brunt of the heavy rainfall expected across Tennessee and North Carolina, according to the National Weather Service.

"Some areas in east Tennessee have seen record breaking rainfall over the past couple of days, especially around the Chattanooga area," according to the NWS forecast. "Since the ground is already saturated and streams are high, any additional heavy rainfall will likely cause flash flooding. Significant stream flooding, flooding of roadways, additional ponding of low lying areas, and mud slides are possible. Major river flooding is also a concern for mid to late next week."

Last year was the wettest year in the history of Tennessee Valley records, which date back 129 years. January rainfall was at 120 percent of normal levels with runoff at 170 percent, according to statistics provided by Tennessee Valley Authority.

TVA was preparing the Tennessee River for rising water levels late last week and through the weekend. The agency increased releases at its Tennessee River main stem dams to create storage for additional water.

The agency reached out to the National Weather Service, farmers, marinas, local emergency responders and other groups across to provide advanced warning.

Contact staff writer Mark Pace at mpace@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6659. Follow him on Twitter @themarkpace and on Facebook at ChattanoogaOutdoorsTFP.