A wide band of persistent rainfall and flooding concerns this week necessitated the closure of at least two roads in Loudon County and led officials to shut down school in both districts on Wednesday.
Loudon County Road Superintendent Eddie Simpson said a portion of Pine Grove Circle and Lou Goddard Lane in Greenback were closed off Wednesday. He said Martel Road in Lenoir City typically sees some flooding during heavy rain showers but was not affected.
"I was impressed about Martel," Simpson said. "It's always flooded, and we had zero flooding up there because of the improvements that we've made over the last two years."
He said the road department added about 1,000 feet of 30-inch tiles and cleaned the ditch along the Martel.
At least four locations in Loudon County experienced standing water on Tuesday, but none were closed before another wave of rain showers pushed through the area that night.
Simpson said some areas were saved from headaches because recent weather did not include flash flooding.
"Sometimes we have trouble on Town Creek Road, but Town Creek this time the creek only got maybe full bank, but it never did got out of bank and that was pretty good," Simpson said. "We didn't have the flash flooding that we have when we have a real bad flooding problem, just a steady rain."
The Loudon County and Lenoir City school districts were closed Wednesday.
Jason Vance, director of schools for Loudon County, said he made the decision to close school because of the potential for more rainfall Tuesday night.
"Standing water on the roadways was a concern for us, and I guess most importantly, we were as or more concerned about teenage drivers being safe ... from their home to schools," Vance said.
According to Derek Eisentrout, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service’s Morristown office, the system dumped between 3-5 inches of rain on the region as of Tuesday. Recent precipitation was due to a system that stalled out in the Southeast.
"When you're talking about large synoptic patterns like these fronts this was a large trough that had moved across the United States, and really it depends on upper level winds to move it east," Eisentrout said, noting that there was not enough pressure to move the system out of the region.
"(We didn't have) enough of an upper level push to get it away from us, and as it stalled out over the Southern Appalachian region, it really was able to tap into Gulf moisture," he said.
The National Weather Service was calling for a 30 percent chance of showers through Wednesday and a 50 percent chance Wednesday night. Rain and snow are expected for Thursday, with temperatures rising to 42 degrees by 8 a.m. and falling to 34 through the rest of the day.