Floods no stranger to Rome but it won’t hap­pen with Har­vey rem­nants

The Na­tional Weather Ser­vice is now pre­dict­ing two to three inches of rain for the Rome area.

Rome News-Tribune - - NEWS - By Doug Walker As­so­ciate Edi­tor DWalker@RN-T.com

Rome is in line to feel the rem­nants of Hur­ri­cane Har­vey to­day and pos­si­bly into Fri­day, but the outer rain bands from the storm that dev­as­tated Texas are not likely to leave a last­ing im­pres­sion on Rome — cer­tainly not in the same man­ner that Hur­ri­cane Opal did in 1995.

The storm that dumped more than 50 inches of rain in the Hous­ton area could drop two to three inches of rain in the Rome area, ac­cord­ing to Na­tional Weather Ser­vice me­te­o­rol­o­gist Sid King in the Peachtree City of­fice. Opal set daily rain­fall records for Rome on two con­sec­u­tive days, Oct. 4- 5, 1995. The of­fi­cial gauge at Richard B. Rus­sell Re­gional Air­port reg­is­tered 4.94 inches of rain on Oct. 4 and another 4.08 inches the fol­low­ing day.

King ex­plained by

Tarps strain un­der the load on Sept. 6, 2011, after Model High was flooded by heavy rain.

the time this storm gets across North­west Ge­or­gia the rain bands are not feed­ing off Gulf mois­ture any more. “This time of year those Gulf wa­ters are like a bath­tub, there is so much mois­ture and in­sta­bil­ity that can con­trib­ute to those,” King said. “Once that source is cut off, it loses its sup­port to pro­duce those kinds of rains.”

Ac­cord­ing to the South­east Re­gional Cli­mate Cen­ter, based at the Uni- File / Rome News-Tri­bune

ver­sity of North Carolina, the largest daily rain­fall amount re­ported in Rome was 6.67 inches recorded on Oct. 26 of 1997

Seven times since 1893, Rome has picked up more than five inches of rain in one day; the most re­cent time that oc­curred was Sept. 5, 2011, when the area re­ceived 5.25 inches of rain, ac­cord­ing to the Ge­or­gia Au­to­mated Weather Ser­vice. That gauge is lo­cated off Bells Ferry Road

Per­haps the most fa­mous flood oc­curred in 1886. Heavy rains from March 30 — April 2 re­sulted in his­toric flood­ing and an Oostanaula River crest of 40.3 feet. A sec­ond ma­jor flood oc­curred in 1892 when the river crested at 37.2 feet. Those events led to the de­ci­sion to raise the ground level of build­ings on Broad Street.

Ma­jor flood events also oc­curred in 1916, 1932 and again in 1936 be­fore the H. H. Keel levee sys­tem was com­pleted in 1939. The most re­cent ma­jor flood­ing oc­curred in 1990 when the river crested at 34.2 feet.

Rome Pub­lic Ser­vices Di­rec­tor Kirk Milam said the com­ple­tion of the South Rome levee in the 1980s was also crit­i­cal for the pro­tec­tion of a largely res­i­den­tial area. “It has helped us weather some real se­ri­ous flood­ing issues on the Coosa River with­out dam­ag­ing those homes,” Milam said. “That’s a pretty sub­stan­tial area from Bran­ham Av­enue down to Wilson Av­enue.”

King, at the Na­tional Weather Ser­vice, said there should not be any real con­cerns about ma­jor flood­ing from this event in the Rome area.

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