Rain leads to flood potential this weekend
With a recently saturated soil and more persistent rain in the forecast, the National Weather Service has issued Flood Watches for all of northeast Tennessee, southwest Virginia, the NC Mountains and southeast Kentucky. A flood watch means that flooding is possible. A flood warning or flood advisory means flooding is occuring or expected to occur soon. You should take action if/when a flood warning/advisory is issued.
For much of the region, this weekend will just be a rainy one with a good excuse to stay inside and watch TV. However, for some, the combination of recent rain/snow and high moisture levels in the soil could allow for localized flooding.
With the heaviest rain happening Saturday night into Sunday, we see flooding near creeks and streams as a possibility. We also think it likely that there will be standing water in low-lying areas/parking lots. While rushing water isn't a high threat, some runoff flooding can occur due to the ground's currently saturated state.
Between Saturday and Sunday, rain totals will range from one to three inches across the area. Before February, this winter was one of the driest on record. We've broken through that pattern, and are now on our way towards even more rain this weekend.
It would take a little more than that for widespread flash flooding to become a concern. Data obtained from the National Weather Service shows how much rain we would need to see in order for that to occur.
As far as our major area rivers, The Holston River and the Clinch River are expected to approach action or minor flood stage This is expected to occur on Sunday based off current forecasts. Check back for updates as forecasts may change based on the amount of rain that falls. You can track the latest river levels here.
Severe thunderstorms and high winds aren't great threats. The main thing we're focusing on is the potential for isolated flooding and perhaps a mudslide or two across mountainous backroads.
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