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Clinch River expected to crest at 6 feet above flood stage

Wes Bunch • Jan 16, 2013 at 4:04 AM

GATE CITY — Scott County Emergency Management officials said nearly a dozen roads had been closed as of Wednesday following two days of steady rain that caused flooding in low-lying areas along creeks and rivers.

The Clinch River is projected to crest at 24.5 ft by Thursday, before dropping back below flood stage Friday afternoon. Flood stage is considered to be 18 feet, Scott County Emergency Management Director Jeff Brickey said.

"(The projected crest is) over six feet above flood stage and it puts the water up in the road going into the old town of Clinchport," Brickey said "So we’ll be watching that area, especially along the river down there."Brickey said the projections would mark the highest flood stage Scott County has experienced on the Clinch in several years. The record of 36 feet was set in 1977, when a flash flood destroyed most of Clinchport.Brickey said the county has received at least 4.5 inches of rain since Monday, enough to cause the Clinch River and the North Fork of the Holston River to begin overflowing their banks.A flood warning was issued for Scott County, as well as most of Upper East Tennessee and Southwest Virginia, until Thursday evening.The North Fork of the Holston River was also above its flood stage of 12 feet, measuring 13.2 feet Wednesday afternoon. The North Fork is expected to crest at 13.4 feet before dropping back below flood stage Thursday morning.

For more on this story read Thursday's print edition of the Times-News.

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