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High water reported in downtown Johnson City as storms passed through area

Jennifer Sprouse • Jul 30, 2013 at 10:01 AM

Bands of heavy rain hit the region late Wednesday evening and night, which caused high standing water in parts of Johnson City, including the downtown area.

Just after 6 p.m., a quick series of rain, thunder and lightning moved through the area and reports filtered in about high water on Market, Boone and King streets, as well as flooding around Appalachian Funeral Home, 800 E. Watauga Ave.

Some trees in north Johnson City were also reportedly down from the heavy rain.

According to Washington County dispatchers, the intersection of East State of Franklin Road and Division Street had high standing water, as well as Oakland Avenue.

Dispatchers also reported that trees, as well as lines, were down and that fire and burglar alarms were going at various locations throughout the city.

Rain fell in Carter, Unicoi, Johnson and Greene counties, but no reports of flooding or weather damage had been called in, according to dispatchers Wednesday night.

Sam Roberts, meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Morristown said Wednesday the storms were an “ordinary line of storms moving through. We have put out a couple of severe thunderstorm warnings, but we haven’t gotten too many reports. A couple of trees here and there. I guess the biggest thing is just ... the heavy rainfall just due to how wet we were last week. The heavy rainfall is definitely not helping in a few locations.”

Roberts said the total rainfall in the area since January has been recorded at 35.83 inches, which puts the area at 13.07 inches above the normal amount of 22.76 inches.

Last week, a series of heavy thunderstorms moved through the region, which also caused flooding in the city and county, and last month’s rainfall set the record for June at 8.37 inches of rain, compared to normal amount of 3.9 inches.

“Last week’s rain ... definitely didn’t help for today’s situation. The ground is so saturated," Roberts said. "Any little extra rain ... it’s going to have a hard time going down into the ground, so that’s what’s causing a lot of these problems.”

Roberts said the band of storms moved into the area from the central valley and Knoxville, heading east through the region at about 25-30 mph.

According to the National Weather Service website, showers and thunderstorms are likely today, with a 70 percent chance of rain.

Today’s high should be near 80 degrees and the low around 63. Tonight only a 30 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms are predicted.

Roberts said the weekend “looks really nice. It looks dry from Friday, Saturday and Sunday, besides maybe just an isolated pop-up ... over the higher terrain, but definitely not widespread. The weekend’s shaping up to be pretty nice.”

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