The National Weather Service at Morristown has placed the entire Cumberland Plateau region, including Scott County and all surrounding counties, under a flood watch through 7 p.m. Thursday.

Rain is expected to begin across the region Wednesday morning, as a cold front approaches the area. By Wednesday evening, rain is expected to intensify. According to graphics produced by the NWS in a briefing Tuesday afternoon, the heaviest rainfall totals will be across the southern plateau and southern Tennessee Valley, but greater than 1.5 inches of rain are expected in Scott County and the northern Cumberland Plateau.

"Due to these persistent rains, many streams and rivers will be rising, and flooding could occur in some areas," the NWS said in a hydrologic outlook published Tuesday morning.

Initially, a flood watch was issued only for areas west of Interstate 75. However, the flood watch had been expanded to cover a greater portion of East Tennessee by Tuesday afternoon.

"Due to recent rainfall and wet soil, this rainfall may cause flooding of creeks and streams, as well as low lying areas," the NWS said in the flood watch. "Larger river flooding may also occur."

The NWS warned that people should be aware of the threat of heavy rainfall.

"Avoid low lying areas, and be careful when approaching highway dips and underpasses," the NWS said. "If you come to a closed or flooded road, turn around! Don't drown!"