Isidore's rain and wind rolls through Tennessee

By Thomas Wilson

   The offshoots of tropical storm Isidore could bring some much needed rainfall to northeast Tennessee and western North Carolina, according to the national weather forecast.
   The National Hurricane Center report expected the remnants of Isidore to hit middle Tennessee by this morning and move northeast toward the panhandle of West Virginia by tonight.
   "We feel like we are going to get some more rain in this area, but we feel the streams can handle it," said Gerald Miles, meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Morristown. "That's due in part because they were so low."
   Tropical storm Isidore was expected to move across the South and mid-Atlantic states through Friday night. Flood watches were posted for counties in Middle Tennessee and central Kentucky.
   The National Weather Service forecast a 100 percent chance of rain showers and a chance of thunderstorms for Carter County throughout Friday. Winds are expected to reach 20 to 30 mph with gusts to 45 mph in the higher elevations today.
   Miles estimated the region could receive one to two inches of rainfall by later Friday night.
   The tropical storm's rainfall comes at welcomed time for the Tri-Cities.
   However, rainfall totals for the Tri-Cities region remain 5.13 inches below normal for the year, according to NWS. The Tri-Cities area had received 27.07 inches of rain through Thursday afternoon.
   Wind advisories were issued for the mountainous areas of Carter, Greene, Johnson, and Unicoi counties by the National Weather Service on Thursday afternoon. Winds were expected to reach between 20 and 30 miles-per-hour with higher gusts up to 45 miles per hours expected into early Friday morning across the higher elevations above 3,500 feet.
   Flash flood warnings were also issued for northern counties of Mississippi. Miles said the storm's remnants should be moving out of the area by tonight.
   "(The rain) should be coming down in levels the streams could handle," he said.
   Isidore came ashore Thursday with near hurricane-force wind. The storm dumped several inches of rain on the Gulf Coast states of Mississippi, Louisiana and Alabama.
   Although weakening, Isidore continued to dump heavy rainfall as it moved further inland.
   "Each one of them has kind of a character of its own," said Miles of hurricane and tropical storms. "For being a tropical storm, it was very large."