area flooding

Poplar Springs Road, just west of the Ga. Highway 151 (Old Alabama Highway) intersection near the Family Dollar Store and Food Lion, is closed due to flooding. A number of roads are closed across Catoosa and Walker counties due to creek flooding and rain runoff. / Don Stilwell

The National Weather Service Friday issued a flood warning until 5 a.m. Saturday for the South Chickamauga Creek near Chickamauga. At 6:15 a.m. Friday the stage was 14.6 feet and rising -- flood stage is 18.0 feet -- and minor flooding is forecast. The Creek was expected to continue to rise to near 19.0 feet by this evening. The river will fall below flood stage by tonight. The river should fall back below flood stage by tonight. Water from the creek will flood Mack Smith Road, impeding traffic. West Chickamauga Creek is overflowing its banks near the Georgia state line and inundating several roads and properties in the area.

The current forecast calls for rainfall continuing into tonight possibly. Total accumulations of 1 to 4 inches are expected with the heaviest amounts in the mountains of western North Carolina and north Georgia. Another round of heavy rain is also currently forecasted for early next week with additional 2-3 inch totals.

Rainfall for the year is more than 140 percent of normal and runoff more than 200 percent of normal, said James Everett, senior manager for TVA’s River Forecast Center, boosted by hurricanes Florence and Michael and Winter Storm Diego. Regional rainfall totals for the year over the 41,000 square-mile Tennessee River Valley have exceeded 62 inches, placing 2018 in the Top 10 all time for yearly rainfall in the TVA region.

Expected rains the last week of 2018 could possibly break the previous annual rainfall record of 65.1 inches set in 1973. The Tennessee Valley region normally averages 51 inches of rain a year.