Flood Threat Returns to South, Ohio Valley Early This Week

Linda Lam
Published: February 12, 2019

Heavy rain and an increasing flood risk will impact the already-waterlogged Ohio Valley and South through Tuesday.

A persistent southerly flow ahead of Winter Storm Maya is increasing moisture across the South, Ohio Valley and mid-Atlantic. This is resulting in periods of rainfall that will be moderate to locally heavy at times Tuesday.

This latest soaking contributed to road flooding early Monday morning in Jonesboro, Arkansas. In Newport, Arkansas, houses in low-lying areas flooded. Road flooding was also reported Monday afternoon near Little Rock, Arkansas, stranding some vehicles.

Flooded roadways were also reported in southern Missouri, western Kentucky and western Tennessee.

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Additional rainfall will total 1 to 3 inches through Tuesday from the northern Gulf Coast into the Tennessee and Ohio valleys. Locally higher amounts are possible where heavier rain persists in any one location for several hours at a time.

Rainfall Forecast

Many river gauges from eastern Arkansas into Indiana and Ohio are reporting at least minor flood stage from last week's rainfall.

Additional rainfall will exacerbate river flooding and will also bring the risk of flash flooding.

Flood watches have been issued by the National Weather Service from northern Tennessee into Kentucky, southern Indiana, Ohio, western Pennsylvania and western and northern West Virginia.

Flood Alerts

The threat of severe thunderstorms from this storm system in the South is minimal Tuesday. However, damaging wind gusts are possible, primarily from eastern Mississippi into western Georgia.

An Already-Soaked Region

Areas from Arkansas to southern Ohio received moderate to heavy rainfall last week, which led to flooding in some areas.

Cincinnati has measured more than 3 inches of precipitation so far in February, which is more than its average precipitation (2.81 inches) for the entire month.

Nashville recorded 4 inches of rainfall last Wednesday, exceeding its average February rainfall of 3.94 inches. It was the 21st time at least 4 inches of rain was recorded in a single day. This heavy rainfall in a short period of time caused flash flooding in Middle Tennessee last Wednesday night and led to numerous water rescues and at least one death.

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