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Heavy ongoing rainfall may flood more roads from Midwest to Southeast (with forecast video)

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Heavy spring rains could slow down truckers and freight flows from Ohio to the Carolinas over the next two days.

SONAR Critical Events and radar: Tuesday, May 19, 2020, 9 a.m. EDT

This has nothing to do with Tropical Storm Arthur, which produced wind gusts close to 50 mph and 4 to 5 inches of rainfall in parts of eastern North Carolina yesterday. That storm has moved farther out to sea and will no longer impact the United States.

A different low pressure system, centered near western Kentucky, has been dumping heavy rainfall from the Ohio Valley to the Carolinas since yesterday. The National Weather Service (NWS) has reported several areas of flash flooding, and flash flood watches remain in place across dozens of counties.

Some areas could get drenched 5 or 6 inches of total rainfall today through tomorrow as the system spins over the same general region. Additional periods of downpours could cause rapid rises of rivers, creeks and streams. Potential flooding may result in road and ramp closures from Columbus, Ohio to Charlotte, North Carolina, both fairly large freight markets.

Based on the latest updates this morning in FreightWaves SONAR, Columbus and Charlotte rank 10th and 18th, respectively, regarding total outbound volumes. Columbus accounts for around 2.2% of the nation’s outbound freight, while Charlotte accounts for around 1.6%.

SONAR Ticker: OTMS (Outbound Tender Market Share) Tree Map

Other cities at risk of flash flooding include, but are not limited to Cincinnati, Ohio; Lexington and Louisville, Kentucky; and Spartanburg, South Carolina. Even after the threat of heavy rainfall ends Wednesday night/early Thursday, the flooding risk will continue for a day or two.

Have a great day! Please stay healthy and be careful out there!

Nick Austin

Nick is a meteorologist with 20 years of forecasting and broadcasting experience. He was nominated for a Midsouth Emmy for his coverage during a 2008 western Tennessee tornado outbreak. He received his Bachelor of Science in Meteorology from Florida State University, as well as a Bachelor of Science in Management from the Georgia Tech. Nick is a member of the American Meteorological Society and National Weather Association. As a member of the weather team at WBBJ-TV in Jackson, Tennessee, Nick was nominated for a Mid-South Emmy for live coverage of a major tornado outbreak in February 2008. As part of the weather team at WRCB-TV in Chattanooga, Tennessee, Nick shared the Chattanooga Times-Free Press Best of the Best award for “Best Weather Team” eight consecutive years.