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Staff Photo by Robin Rudd/ The headlights of inbound traffic glare off the wet pavement of Brainerd Road, just east of the intersection of Tunnel Boulevard on the morning of Tuesday, Jan. 14, 2020.

This story was updated at 4:36 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 14, 2020, with more information.

Forecasts call for dry, colder weather next week, but Mother Nature could still dump more rain on the already-soggy region for a while Wednesday and this weekend.

Rainfall totals around Chattanooga Tuesday included almost half an inch of rain at the airport, just shy of an inch at the news station and just over an inch of rain at his home in Red Bank, WRCB-TV Channel 3 chief meteorologist Paul Barys said Tuesday.

The precipitation will relent for a bit before wet weather returns.

"Showers will taper off for Wednesday night and Thursday should be dry," Barys wrote Tuesday in his weather blog. "Highs on Wednesday will be in the low 70s. Thursday will be colder and breezy with highs in the upper 50s and mostly cloudy skies."

"Friday will be mostly cloudy and seasonable with highs in the low 50s," Barys said. "Saturday will see the return of rain showers with a high in the mid to upper 50s."

With rainfall across the Tennessee Valley more than double the usual amount in the first two weeks of the year, the Tennessee Valley Authority is spilling water through all nine of its mainstream dams as it prepares for a third possible rainstorm in a week's time.

More than 4 inches of rain has fallen from two storms in the past four days, or nearly as much as what normally falls in all of January.

James Everett, TVA River Forecast Center manager, said Tuesday that the agency is managing the runoff from rain storms over the weekend and on Monday and Tuesday and preparing for more rain and scattered showers later this week. Although there is some localized flooding in low-lying areas of Hardin County in West Tennessee, TVA expects to use its network of 49 dams on the Tennessee River and its tributaries to avoid any major flooding from the rains this month.

"The good news is that we've had some breaks between these storms that have allowed us to manage the runoff from [them]," Everett said.

TVA was spilling 95,000 cubic feet per second of water through the Chickamauga Dam in Chattanooga Tuesday to help cope with the rains and upstream reservoirs at Cherokee, Douglas, Norris and other TVA lakes, which are rising with the rains of the past few days, Everett said.

"We expect to be spilling at our main dams on the river for some time," Everett said. But the utility reduced the flow from last week, when the amount of water going through the Chickamauga Dam and entering the Tennessee River gorge west of downtown Chattanooga forced the shutdown of barge traffic on the river for several days.

The rains Monday and Tuesday dumped up to 3 inches of rain in parts of East Tennessee. With leaves off of most trees and limited vegetation growing in the winter months, the runoff from winter rains tends to be bigger and quicker than when similar rains fall during the summer months, Everett said.

The soaked ground could allow pop-up thunderstorms to topple trees and knock out power in isolated areas.

Wind usually generates problems with downed trees and power lines, Barys said. One 23 mph gust was reported Tuesday at Lovell Field, but otherwise there was little wind with Tuesday's storm.

EPB had only scattered, isolated power outages with rains on Monday and Tuesday, and those were winnowed down throughout the day, but Jed Marston, spokesman for the utility, said crews will be ready if conditions worsen as the weekend approaches.

"The biggest impact comes when we have high winds," Marston said, adding that utility officials will monitor changing forecasts. "It's possible we will have some problems; we're keeping a close eye on the weather."

Despite the deluge Tuesday morning, North Georgia Power had no reports of homes without power by Tuesday afternoon. The utility serves Catoosa, Chattooga, Gordon, Floyd, Murray and Whitfield counties.

West of Chattanooga, the Sequachee Valley Electric Cooperative — which serves Bledsoe, Coffee, Cumberland, Franklin, Grundy, parts of Hamilton, Rhea and Van Buren counties — had few problems except for some scattered outages in the Altamont area of Grundy County, according to Joy Sweeton, customer service representative.

Sweeton noted that terrain such as that found in Grundy County creates problems with fallen trees because the ground is so soft and slopes are so steep. Although rainfall amounts are not expected to be as heavy in the coming days, soggy conditions mean some trees could fall across power lines.

"We're prepared for that," she said.

And in South Central Tennessee, Duck River Electric Cooperative— which serves 16 counties, including parts of Franklin, Grundy, Marion, Coffee — reported only one outage by Tuesday afternoon near Manchester. Otherwise residents in the Duck River's service area had no problems, according to the utility's outage map.

Barys said next week looks colder and drier, with high temperatures in the upper 30s to low 40s and lows near 20. The current forecast for Monday and Tuesday also calls for partly sunny to sunny skies.

Contact Dave Flessner at dflessner@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6340. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/chattreporter.

Contact Ben Benton at bbenton@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6569. Follow him on Twitter @BenBenton or at www.facebook.com/benbenton1.

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