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Crews clean up after heavy day of rain

POSTED: February 1, 2013 12:01 a.m.

Wednesday’s storm system left area public works crews scrambling on Thursday to repair roads and clean up tree damage.

“Due to the high winds and rain (Wednesday) night, Hall County crews responded to approximately 20 calls from dispatch,” said Katie Crumley, spokeswoman for Hall County.

Much of the work involved clearing trees from roadways, including one on McEver Lake Road “that caused significant damage to the roadway,” Crumley said.

McEver Lake Road, off Ga. 211 in South Hall, had partially washed away, with several gaping holes, which were about 6 feet wide and “pretty deep,” she said.

Gainesville street crews worked in several locations, including Habersham Drive and Old Flowery Branch Road.

“Storm water drainage systems throughout town were overwhelmed as the result of the heavy rain over such a short period of time,” said David Dockery, Gainesville’s public works director.

Compounding problems were some brisk winds and saturated ground.

In the Hall area, rain started falling Tuesday and ended late Wednesday. By storm’s end, 2.28 inches had fallen at Lee Gilmer Memorial Airport in Gainesville.

Most of the rain, or about 2 inches, fell between early afternoon and Wednesday evening.

Overall, though, the Hall County area dodged what was a more serious storm in other parts of the state.

Northwest Georgia residents particularly are picking up after high winds and torrential rain, including a tornado that wrecked parts of Adairsville. Wednesday, Gov. Nathan Deal declared a state of emergency in Bartow and Gordon counties.

Flooding occurred throughout North Georgia, such as Towns County, where 6 inches of rain fell.

At one point, rain was heavy and created some localized flooding, such as at a mobile home park on McConnell Drive in Gainesville. Flat Creek, which runs through Gainesville to Lake Lanier and is quick to fill with trash during torrential rains, was rising along its banks.

All the rain likely will benefit Lake Lanier, which stood at 1,063.34 feet above sea as of 11:15 p.m. Thursday night. Winter full pool is 1,070 feet.

The lake is up 1 foot since last Friday, but the full effects of the rain likely will play out today and Saturday, due to runoff into creeks and streams.

Just a month or so ago, the lake was headed in the opposite direction, reviving memories of the 2007-09 drought.

According to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which governs Lanier, once the lake stays consistently above 1,064 feet, the corps will begin reviewing and issuing remaining dock permits.

Dry conditions returned Thursday and are likely to remain for the Hall area through Wednesday, according to the National Weather Service in Peachtree City.


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