For the past week, residents of Catoosa County and surrounding areas have been hit with major rainfall, causing many area creeks and rivers to rise above flood level. Cresting of these areas stands at 18 ft, with many creeks and rivers now standing at over 20 ft. Area schools have been on two to three hour delays the past couple of days because of roadways being covered in water and impassable. The rain is far from over as the Weather Channel states that the National Weather Service out of Peachtree City is calling for at least 2 to 2.5 more inches of rain between Wednesday and Thursday.
If this were not enough, a cold front will be moving through Thursday causing temperatures to drop to the mid 30's and increasing the risk of snow in Catoosa and surrounding counties. Through Thursday night and into Friday morning, residents heading out to work should be on the lookout for dangerous spots of black ice. The National Weather Service warns drivers to lower speeds and leave home a little earlier to avoid accident. Snow that will mix with rain on Thursday afternoon may accumulate around grassy areas and the sides of roadways but is not expected to cover roads or sidewalks. A mere half inch is all that is expected to fall.
So far, Catoosa County has closed off two roads due to flooding with a few more expected closings. As of today, Mack Smith Rd. and Wooten Rd. were closed due to water covering the roadways and high water signs placed on neighboring roads to ward off traffic in those areas. Mack Smith Road and Wooten Road both lie near U.S. 41 and Graysville, making school traffic a bit difficult to maneuver. The rain will ebb off by Friday, as the National Weather Service calls for sunshine and a high of 49-degrees.
If your out and about today, the Catoosa County Sheriff's office has warned driver's to steer clear of any standing water and seek an alternative route. Standing water can cause hydroplaning or stalling of vehicles and cause accidents. Be safe!
UPDATE: WRCB TV now reports that the following roads are closed due to flooding in Catoosa County:
Poplar Springs Rd. at Stapp Drive
Haggard Rd. at the bridge
Wood Terrace at Wood Yates
Three Notch Rd. at Davis Ridge
Dogwood Rd. at the railroad crossing
Mt. Pisgah Rd. at Wyndemere
Boynton Rd. at Bagget Rd.
900 Mt Pisgah Rd.
Hamill Hollow Rd.
Ross Hollow at Sellers Lane
Tennessee St. in Ringgold
UPDATE ON WINTER WEATHER:
The National Weather Service has now placed Northwest Georgia under a Winter Storm Watch for Thursday night until Friday morning as of 1 pm today. Higher elevations may experience up to 3 inches of snow off roadways and 1 inch on roadways. The snow is expected to start Thursday afternoon and continue through Friday night.