The History of the Lookout Valley Community


Richard Alexander McKeel

Chapter Fourteen

“Natural Disasters that hit Lookout Valley

1. Floods

            Before the creation of the Tennessee Valley Authority the Tennessee River was not a calm river as it is today. In fact, most times of the year the river was impossible to navigate. However, when the Chickamauga and Nickajack Dams were this mad the Tennessee River easier to navigate.  

            Even when the dams were built; however, it did not stop the problems especially those days, of following continuous days of rainfall. After, three consecutive days, of rainfall, a flood occupy Chattanooga in March 1973 this would be called the “Saint Patrick’s Day Flood.” This flood hit Lookout Valley very hard with much the same result as happened in Chattanooga . Many homes and businesses were affected by the water from the flooded Tennessee River . Another flood hurt Lookout Valley in 1982 having the same result as the previous one damaging businesses and homes on Brown’s Ferry Road .

In May 9, 2003 a monster flood struck Lookout Valley causing much of the same effect as the previous ones. These floods are always a possible because of where Lookout Valley is located down stream from the Chickamauga Dam. This flood was the results of the tributaries of the Tennessee River were already over flood stage. When they release the flood gates from Chickamauga Dam, the water dispersed into Lookout Valley causing sever damage.

Photos of the May 9, 2003 Flood

Morning after Three Consecutive Days of Rain


A father and son floating down a boat on

Brown’s Ferry at the Brown’s Ferry Center


Water on Brown’s Ferry Road

Wauhatchie Pike

Parker Lane at Brown’s Ferry

2. The Blizzard of 1993

            March 12-14, 1993 , Chattanooga had an unexpected guest come to visit. Anyone that remembers these dates can tell you the story of the “Blizzard of 1993.” Everyone remembers the day before was a very mild day with temperature was in the seventies. The night the temperature dropped; and the snowfall began after mid-night and snowed continuously for the next two days with an accumulation of more then twenty inches of snow in Lookout Valley .

3. Tropical Depression Opal

            Usually when people think of tropical depression, they think of them happening near the ocean. However, in October 1995 Hurricane Opal, after landing on the Alabama and Florida line, continued going northeast and eventually became a Tropical Depression. Opal dropped great amounts of rain into areas around Chattanooga and Lookout Valley causing flooding.

4. Easter Weekend Tornado

            On March 30, 1997 , the first ever tornado touched down in Lookout Valley . Many roofs of businesses and homes were damaged and trees were uprooted. One of the damaged buildings was the drive-through of the Sun Trust Bank on Kelley’s Ferry Road . However, luckily no one died in the tornado.





Richard Alexander McKeel

Copyright © 2004