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Nashville to Charlotte Becomes Focus for Flash Flood Risk

Repeating downpours will bring a risk of flash and urban flooding centered on Tennessee and western North Carolina this weekend.

A general 2-4 inches of rain will fall on this area with the potential for a half a foot of rain in some communities. Much of this rain could fall in a matter of a few hours.

Factoring in the hilly terrain over the countryside and the amount of paved surfaces in urban areas, there is a risk of rapid flooding of streets, highways and small streams.

Doses of heavy rain and isolated flash flooding can also brush neighboring states, including the northern parts of Mississippi, Alabama and Georgia, upstate South Carolina and the southern parts of Kentucky, Virginia and West Virginia.

Cities that could be impacted by flooding downpours this weekend include Tupelo, Miss.; Huntsville, Ala.; Atlanta; Greenville, S.C.; Norfolk, Va.; London, Ky.; Memphis, Nashville, Knoxville and Chattanooga, Tenn.; and Charlotte, Winston-Salem and Raleigh, N.C.

Keep en eye out for rapidly changing conditions this weekend. Avoid camping along small streams, which can flood with little notice. Never drive through flooded roadways. Doing so puts not only all the occupants of your vehicle at risk, but also your would-be rescuers.

Rounds of drenching downpours have already saturated the soil across much of the South this summer with above-normal rainfall in many cities. The saturated ground may add to the flooding problems by helping to generate run-off very quickly.

Folks traveling along the I-40, I-77 and I-81 corridors this weekend could be faced with poor visibility and slick conditions due to the heavy rainfall.

Nashville, Tenn., has received a foot of rain so far this summer through Aug. 8, which is about one and a half times their average rainfall.

Charlotte, N.C., has picked up over 15 inches of rain this summer so far, which is 180 percent of average rainfall.

Atlanta has picked up a whopping 21 inches of rain thus far. The amount is two times their average for the summer to date.

The rain is being produced by the same, slow-moving frontal system that unleashed devastating flooding across parts of Kansas and Missouri much of this week. It was causing more isolated flash flooding from the Ohio Valley to the northern Appalachians Thursday into Friday. The front is sagging southeastward this weekend, bringing the threat of flooding with it.

Conditions may be too wet for crops in the Southeast, making it difficult for farmers to get into the fields and causing some vegetables to rot.