Rain in recent days raised Bowling Green’s year-to-date rainfall total to 28.13 inches through midnight Tuesday – nearly 5 inches above normal, according to the National Weather Service in Louisville.
Bowling Green received 3.23 inches in four days, from Thursday to Sunday. Still, Bowling Green didn’t experience the flash floods, state of emergencies or flood-related deaths that affected parts of the Southeast last week.
“It was just persistent, but the daily rainfall totals weren’t record-setting,” said Mike Crow, observation program leader for the weather service in Louisville.
In the region, Barren County received 6.72 inches at one weather station and 5.7 inches at another. An Allen County station received 5.4 inches, and a Metcalfe County station received 5.19 inches in the same four-day period.
Cities across Kentucky have faced wetter weather in recent memory. Last year, Louisville, Lexington and other cities recorded their wettest years on record, and Bowling Green had the second-wettest year on record. This year, Louisville has received 29.26 inches of rain – about 8 inches above normal, according to Crow.
Heavy rains and recurrent storms can stress stormwater systems by preventing proper drainage and furthering flooding.
With extreme flooding, wastewater systems can become “overloaded and fail … discharging straight sewage along with industrial process water,” Bowling Green environmental manager Matt Powell said.
Extended periods of rain or flooding can also threaten lives, complicate agriculture, damage property and increase nonpoint source pollution from sources such as agricultural runoff or construction sites.
“The first one inch or so of runoff from a rain is the most polluted,” Powell said. “Usually in our area it’s sediment, nutrients, oil and grease. It comes from everywhere, which is why it’s so important to keep things cleaned up in dry weather.”
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