Putting this weekend's torrential rain in perspective

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Some area rivers reached their highest points in nearly 20 years over the weekend, as rounds of rain continued to pound areas close to the Kentucky-Virginia border. As we go into 'recovery mode,' we wanted to provide a little bit of perspective for you.

During these major rain events, the National Weather Service will show different readings from sensors across the area. Some totals may vary from neighborhood to neighborhood, but this gets the general point across.

One of the hardest hit areas, once again, has been Big Stone Gap. That's not to dismiss the impacts to Pennington Gap, Gate City, St. Paul, Coeburn, Hurley, Haysi, Clintwood, etc.

For this blog post's sake, let's focus on Big Stone for a second.

A simple Google search tells us that Big Stone Gap is 4.865 square miles, which as we all know is a 'small town.'

Yes, the Winter Olympics are ongoing - but let's switch gears to Summer Olympics for this blog post. What I wanted to do was take the rain that fell over that 4.856 square mile radius and compare it to Olympic-sized swimming pools.

It takes 660, 430 gallons of water to fill an Olympic-sized swimming pool.

By using a rain calculator on the USGS website, I found that the amount of rain that fell in Big Stone Gap's 4.865 square mile radius is the equivalent of 645 Olympic-sized swimming pools. That's outrageous!

I did this conversion for a few other towns as well, and here's what I found. Keep in mind that for bigger towns (Kingsport and Bristol, VA), the results are a little skewed due to their size. Nonetheless, this goes to show the incredible amount of water unleashed on the area from this weekend's storm system.

Some of you have asked, "What if all of this were in the form of snow?" I hope to do another blog post on that either Sunday evening or sometime Monday.

Keep it tuned to for the latest information, as we continue to monitor water levels and impacts across the area.

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