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Nearly 4 inches of rain has fallen and more is coming

Flood warnings issued for some counties including Forsyth, Dawson

POSTED: January 6, 2009 9:40 a.m.

While the moist, gray weather that many areas have been experiencing for the past few days can be depressing, don’t expect to see any improvement in the dismal conditions today.

Not only is the National Weather Service predicting rain, it’s predicting a lot of it today, potentially leading to flooding in several areas.

"There’s a 60 percent chance of rain in Gainesville," Mike Leary, a National Weather Service forecaster, said on Monday afternoon. "And some of the thunderstorms could produce heavy rainfall."

As of 9 a.m. today, 3.97 inches of rain has fallen at Lee Gilmer Memorial Airport since early Monday, according to the National Weather Service Web site. A flood warning was issued this morning for several counties west of Gainesville, including Forsyth and Dawson counties.

The weather service is reporting that there is at least a 50 percent chance of rain for most of Northeast Georgia — including areas in Hall, Habersham, White and Jackson counties — this afternoon, with that percentage increasing to 100 percent in most areas later this evening.

While Gainesville is excluded from any flood or flash flood watches, that is not the case for many areas north of the city.

Forsyth County is included in a flood watch, while Habersham, Rabun and Stephens counties are included in a flash flood watch. The two watches are in effect until Wednesday evening.

A flash flood occurs when a sudden increase in water causes rivers, streams or other bodies to overflow in a short amount of time.

According to the weather service, a mere 6 inches of fast-moving water can knock a person off his feet, while 2 feet of water can float a vehicle.

Between 2 to 4 inches of rain is expected to be produced by isolated showers and thunderstorms through Wednesday morning over most of Northeast Georgia.

For most of the region, the highs should reach the low to mid-60s by this afternoon.

If folks are waiting for the cooler, more traditional January temperatures to arrive, they may have to wait a while, as the weather service is also predicting above normal temperatures for the entire month of January.



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