Jan 15 2013

Continued Rain Causes Flooding and Closes Local Schools

Weather conditions across the United States have definitely  been interesting over the past few weeks, with no exception to that rule for residents here in the Sequatchie Valley.  After near-record highs for January going into the past weekend, a frontal system brought on a mid-January soaker that has since resulted in Flood Watches and Warnings for much of the tri-state area including Marion County.

MarionCountyMessenger.com Staff Meteorologist Robert Frye says, “the Sequatchie River near Whitwell is now above flood stage and a flood warning is currently in effect for both Marion County and the Sequatchie River.”

“At 14-ft. flooding begins to affect adjacent farmlands around the river and the forecast crest of 16-ft., expected late Wednesday or early Thursday, will cause extensive flooding of farmlands adjacent to the river including local roadways such as Ketner’s Mill Lane and others located near the river and its’ tributaries,” said Frye.

NWS Hydrological Forecast for Sequatchie River

Authorities with the Marion County Sheriff’s Department and the Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) remind motorists to to never drive through flood waters that cover the roadway.  They also want to remind motorist to stay alert of flood warnings and watches for their area or in locations in which they plan to travel. If you do happen across a flooded roadway, remember, turn around!  Don’t drown!

With the excessive rainfall and related travel hazards, officials with Marion County Schools decided to cancel classes for Tuesday and Wednesday.  Many of the roads affected by flooding are not safely navigated by school buses or other automobiles in these conditions, and officials with the school system say they take the safety of their students, faculty, and staff seriously, thus prompting the system’s closing due to flooding.

Marion schools weren’t the only ones affected by the rains, Hamilton County, TN Schools as well as many systems in North Georgia have a delayed start time for classes on Wednesday.  If flooding continues along Chickamauga Creek in Chattanooga and parts of Catoosa and Walker counties in Georgia, schools may opt for closure there as well, however no official closings for those systems have been made at this time.

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