After a deluge of rain late Thursday evening, fireworks were going off in the area of Highway 64. Just after 8 p.m., a cell of heavy rain fell across Bradley County.
Although flooding of Highway 64 was reported, nearly 3/4 inches of rain within a period between 8 and 8:45 p.m., didn’t dampen the fuses at state Rep. Eric Watson’s and Howard Thompson’s 64 Flea Market fireworks show.
“Tennessee Highway Patrol and TDOT officials estimated approximately 15,000 people in the area [watched] the show,” Watson said this morning.
Other area Independence Day shows were cancelled, including Mount Olive Ministries at Bradley Square Mall.
“We want to thank the Thompsons and Lloyd Crowder for the use of their property, TDOT, THP, Bradley County Emergency Medical Service, Bradley County Fire-Rescue and the Bradley County Sheriff’s Office for their presence in the area,” Watson said.
Music and food were big attractions prior to the light display.
Rain was light or nonexistent during periods of the evening, despite foreboding forecasts.
“There were people under umbrellas enjoying the festivities and music,” Watson said.
Watson said the heavy rain moved out and the show went on as planned.
Watson grew up in the community and said he was glad he could help carry on the 27-year tradition that Howard Thompson had begun.
More rain is expected, heavy at times, throughout today and into Monday.
The National Weather Service in Morristown predicted a total of nearly 6 inches of rainfall from Tuesday through Monday.
According to data collected at the Cleveland-Bradley County Emergency Management Agency weather station located on Guthrie Drive, a total of 3.90 inches of precipitation has been recorded.
Rain chances through Sunday remain between 80 and 90 percent due to a funneling effect and pressure system which is drawing moisture from the Gulf of Mexico.
A Flood Watch remains in effect for most of East Tennessee and North Georgia.