Sunday downpours flood an already saturated Cleveland, Bradley County
by By GREG KAYLOR Banner Staff Writer
Jul 08, 2013 | 2539 views | 0 0 comments | 46 46 recommendations | email to a friend | print
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Banner photo, GREG KAYLOR A GATHERING AT CHARLESTON City Park was held under a pavilion due to floodwaters from the Hiwassee River invading the stage area.
From corner to corner, most of the Cleveland and Bradley County community has been pelted by at least 10 inches of rain over the past seven days, and the latest 2.47 inches came on a frantic Sunday afternoon when the skies opened and a collection of local roads closed.

Sunday’s downpour was one of the heaviest periods of rain to hit the area over the past week. The 2.47 inches were recorded at a weather monitoring station located off Dry Valley Road.

As of 8 a.m. Monday, the Dry Valley Road site had recorded 9.73 inches, but in some areas of the city and county the totals might have been even heavier.

Throughout the week, and especially during Sunday’s countywide deluge, widespread flooding has been reported to emergency operations officials.

And according to representatives from Volunteer Energy Cooperative and 911 reports, rain wasn’t the only thing falling. During the Sunday monsoons, which lasted most of the afternoon, trees were down on Tasso Road, Old Alabama Road, Upper River Road, McLure Road, Riverside Drive in Charleston and many other locations across the county.

Saturated grounds will often give way, allowing the root systems to loosen.

“Unlike wintertime, trees have their leaves and that will make them top-heavy. The wet soil presents problems,” said Troy Spence, Cleveland-Bradley County Emergency Management Agency director and interim Bradley County fire chief.

Spence said his crews at BCFR performed two water rescues in Polk County during the weekend and one in Bradley County when a motorist became stranded on Chatata Valley Road.

Flooded roadways were reported from the southern to the northern end of the county and a number of places in between.

The city of Cleveland shut down Candies Lane and other roadways where streets typically flood.

Manhole covers were ejected from their housings as rushing waters forced their way through drainage systems in the city.

In downtown Cleveland, the area around Inman and Edwards streets was heavily flooded with water rushing from a manhole near the Inman Street underpass.

Traffic lights were also reported out in areas, as well as utility lines downed due to falling trees.

“Rainfall amounts will vary in different areas of the county,” Spence said.

A number of weather stations are located in the city and county, including at the Cleveland Utilities station located on Dry Valley Road near Charleston.

During the height of Sunday afternoon’s torrential downpour, a station in western Bradley County only measured .97 inches of rain while the Dry Valley unit collected nearly 2.47 inches.

Runoff from the rain will continue to flood area creeks, streams and rivers, officials warn. Today through Wednesday should be a drying-out period, according to the National Weather Service forecast, but a gradual increase in thunderstorm and rain chances is forecast toward the weekend.

High humidity will also be noticed this week as temperatures climb into the mid to upper 80s each day.