6 things to know about the flooding in East Tennessee and its aftermath

Local News

Here are six things to know about the historic flooding over the weekend.

1) It was record rainfail. The National Weather Service calls it “epic.” And the rainfall amounts were historic, breaking records.

A 30-hour rainfall report posted early Sunday from the weather service shows 5.77 inches of rain at Metlon Hill Dam 5.62 inches of rain in Farragut, 5.07 inches in Rockwood and 4.86 inches at the Knoxville Water Plant. (Totals for other areas.)

It’s the wettest February on record for Knoxville with  12.55 inches of rain, 

2) Hundreds of roads were closed in the region and many still are. Here’s TDOT’s latest list, but it does not include county and city roadways.

If you are heading to North Carolina, plan on 50-mile detour after a rockslide closed Interstate 40 Friday night. The good news? It will partially open on Saturday by 4 p.m. 

Motorists have taken to social media to rant about potholes and TDOT has had crews about repairing them.

3) The damange is being assessed by government officials, but it’s a safe bet, it will run into the millions. Homes, businesses, roads, and public utilities have been damanged. Some 14 counties in Tennessee declared local emergencies.

4) All this water is flowing somewhere. TVA has been busy managing lake levels and releases on the Tennessee River system. 

TVA said it anticipates the Tennessee River at Savannah, to be cresting over the next few days. It is forecast the river stage to stay below 395 feet. This is the second highest flood crest at Savannah since the creation of TVA.

The rain gauge of TVA’s Wilson Dam in Alabama  received 13 inches of rain over the past week. 

TVA is using all available storage at the nine Tennessee River dams and is storing “a tremendous amount of water” in the tributary dams. 

Lake levels at Fort Loudoun and Watts Bar near Knoxville, and Chickamauga near Chattanooga are above normal summer pool and rising to prevent downstream flooding, TVA said. 

Expect lake levels of  815 feete at Fort Loudoun, 745 feet at Watts Bar and 685 feet at Chickamauga, TVA said Sunday on Twitter. 

TVA planned to spill water from Norris Dam into the Clinch River on Monday, but temporarily stopped because of a floating dock coming loose near the spillway. Spill operations were to resume.

5) Several Knoxville area schools were closed on Monday. Watch our closings list to see if schools will be open on Tuesday. Some, including Knox County, have already called off classes.

6) The state has had four flood-related deaths, including two in East Tennessee. One of the East Tennessee deaths was of a man in West Knoxville early Sunday.

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