Rainy year

On Feb. 20, 2020, flood waters continue to rise at Hagy’s Landing on the Tennessee River. According to TVA, 2020 was the rainiest year on record for the valley region.

Of all the things that went scarce in 2020, raindrops were not among them.

It was likely one of the wettest years ever for Corinth and Alcorn County. While annual rainfall averages 57 inches in the city, Soil and Water Conservation District Clerk Seth Bragg recorded 88.75 inches at Kossuth.

“I don’t know if this is a record, but this is certainly the wettest year that I’ve ever seen,” said Patrick Poindexter, county director with the MSU Extension Service. “This created some unique situations in the county with late planting for our farmers and delayed field activities.”

Farmers suffered through heavy rains around harvest time.

During the summer, Poindexter fielded numerous calls from people who were concerned about fungal infections on trees, shrubs and garden plants, all stemming from the wet weather.

For the nearby Tennessee Valley, it was a record-setting year, according to TVA, with 68.27 inches recorded on average across the region through mid-December, surpassing the old record of 67.01 inches set in 2018. And 2019 was the third-wettest year at 66.47 inches of rainfall.

“The last three years have been a remarkable stretch of above average rainfall,” said James Everett, senior manager of TVA’s River Forecast Center. “Before 2018, the previous record had stood for 45 years. Since 2018, we’ve either set a record or come close to it every year.

“Also, between Oct. 1, 2019, and Sept. 30, 2020, the Tennessee Valley recorded 75.74 inches of rainfall. This was the wettest fiscal year total ever in the 131-year period of record.”

The above normal runoff from rainfall has persisted throughout the entire year, with one notable exception – the 2020 record comes after a month of below-average rainfall in November, according to TVA. Rainfall in the Valley totaled 2.34 inches for that month, which was only about 62 percent of normal monthly rainfall. That shortfall ended a streak of 13 straight months of above average rainfall, which is also a Valley record.

TVA worked to avert about $1 billion in flood damages throughout the Valley during the year, keeping several cities from being submerged.

Staff Writer

Jebb Johnston is a 1991 Alcorn Central High School graduate and a 1995 Ole Miss journalism graduate. His primary beats are city and county government.

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