Flash Flood Risk Splits

Flood Risk Splits Overnight

Muggy tropical air is at it again early this Tuesday morning generating waves of showers and thunderstorms. That means a new Flash Flood threat is developing for the overnight hours and for the first light of Tuesday on two flanks.

Flank #1

The Kentucky Coalfields have been worked over by rains every day since last Friday. High water covered numerous roads Monday evening after the daytime cloudburst. So widespread was the high water that Floyd County schools will be closed on Tuesday.

Towns like Harold and McDowell were among the areas with high water. The McDowell Elelemtary school was surrounded by water roughly half a foot deep on Monday afternoon.

Pre-dawn Tuesday rains will create new problems in Southeastern Kentucky.
So new flood warnings are possible.

Flank #2

Farther to the north, the faster westerly winds aloft are creating what is known as a train effect with heavy rains through Central Ohio. One cell after another is forming near Chillicothe then running west to east through Vinton, Athens and Washington Counties in Ohio.

Road closures and school closings are a good bet in this region.

In between these two flanks, the I-64 zone may be free of serious flooding. The meteorological reasoning behind this works on the premise that there is a finite amount of moisture and energy for the atmosphere to convert into heavy rains.

With energy and moisture being fed into the Coalfield and Central Ohio downpours, there figures to be a relative lack of such moist air to create problems in the I-64 zone.

So while the River Cities of Huntington-Ashland-Ironton are not immune to a downpour and some poor drainage water back up, flooding is relatively less likely compared to points north and south.

The West Virginia Coalfields look to also have only some nuisance problems, since weekend rains there were not as strong as they were in the Kentucky Coalfields. Stated briefly, the ground is not as wet in the Tug, Guyandotte and Coal River Valleys as it is in the Levisa and Russell Fork Valleys in Kentucky.

Flood precautions include the two basics.

1. Never drive across a flooded road, especially at night when visibility is poor.
2. If you live along a stream prone to flooding and flood waters approach, be prepared to seek high ground as safety and the rise in water levels dictate. Keep in mind that often times the safest place in a flood is in your home where water may surround you, but not threaten you with bodily harm.

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