In a typical February, about 4.5 inches of rainfall occurs in Scott County.
By the time Valentines Day arrives, signaling the midpoint of this February, it’s likely that the average rainfall will have already been surpassed, with half the month left to go.
According to the National Weather Service at Morristown, a total of 4.34 inches of rainfall had been received in Oneida as of Monday afternoon — and moderate to heavy rain was expected Monday night, with a flood watch in effect for the entire northern Cumberland Plateau region.
If meteorologists’ concerns that prompted that flood watch were realized, it would have been the second flooding event in Scott County in less than a week. On Thursday, minor flooding issues were seen throughout the area after three inches of rain fell over a 24-hour period.
And all of that rain in February follows a January that featured slightly above-average rainfall, and a December that saw almost twice as much rain as normal fall on Scott County.
In fact, the last four months of 2018 — September through December — saw a record amount of rainfall in Oneida, with a whopping 30.41 inches of rainfall recorded in Oneida. In a normal year, just about 16.5 inches of rainfall are seen in the months of September through December.
Tack on the first month and a half of the 2019 calendar year, and it’s been far wetter than any other September-February period on record since records-keeping began in Oneida in the 1950s. In all, Oneida has received 41.26 inches of rain since September 1, well above the previous record of 33.9 inches during that period, set in 2004-2005. Even if it did not rain another drop through March 25, it would still be the wettest seven-month period on record in Oneida, dating back to the 1950s.
According to the National Weather Service’s records, 2.94 inches of rain were received in Oneida on Thursday, though much of that actually fell on Wednesday.
By mid morning on Thursday, U.S. Hwy. 27 had been closed in Glenmary after flood waters from Black Wolf Creek covered the roadway. A landslide along Norma Road resulted in a lane closure that was expected to persist for some time. And the Big South Fork was well above flood stage, resulting in some trails and day-use areas being temporarily closed.
There’s no relief expected in the immediate future. As of Monday, the National Weather Service’s Climate Prediction Center was forecasting above-average precipitation to continue for the next two weeks before a drier pattern sets in.