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Hall escapes damage in severe storms
0411weather2
A vehicle navigates through standing water Friday night on Martin Luther King Jr. Drive near Dixie Drive. - photo by Tom Reed

National Weather Service forecast
National Weather Service radar

Tonight: Showers and thunderstorms, mainly before 8 p.m. Some storms could be severe, with large hail, damaging winds, and heavy rain. Low around 51. West wind between 5 and 10 mph, with gusts as high as 20 mph. Chance of precipitation is 90%. New rainfall amounts between a quarter and half of an inch possible.

Saturday: Mostly sunny, with a high near 65. West wind between 5 and 15 mph, with gusts as high as 20 mph.

Saturday Night: Mostly clear, with a low around 46. North wind between 5 and 10 mph.

Sunday: Mostly sunny, with a high near 69. East wind between 5 and 10 mph.

Sunday Night: Showers and thunderstorms likely after 2 a.m. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 51. East wind between 10 and 15 mph, with gusts as high as 25 mph. Chance of precipitation is 60 percent.

Watch video of tornado sirens at Times staffer Kristen Morales' home in Athens

A line of severe storms moved through Northeast Georgia on Friday, but there were no immediate reports of damage or injuries.

At least three tornado warnings were issued for Hall County, starting at about 6:15 p.m. During the worst of the storms, pea-sized hail fell in downtown Gainesville.

Surrounding counties Dawson, Banks, Jackson, White, Forsyth and Gwinnett also were under a tornado warning during the evening Friday.

The thunderstorms and hail Friday were part of a system that brought severe tornadoes through Arkansas, Tennessee and Kentucky.

At 7:15 p.m., just more than one quarter of an inch of rain had fallen in Hall County. Heavy rainfall associated with the storm cells fell across the Lake Lanier basin, and the lake level may rise over the next few days. The lake currently is less than 10 feet below full pool.

The most severe weather warnings were in Northwest Georgia — Floyd, Chattooga, Gilmer, Pickens and Gordon counties, where the National Weather Service heard reports of large hail and fallen trees.

Despite all of the warnings, there were no reports of damage and no tornados touched down.

The heavy rain caused Flat Creek to flood near Atlanta Highway and McConnell Drive. A mobile home park near the creek was flooded, but it appeared that water didn’t get into any of the homes.

Only a handful of power outages were reported by Georgia Power.

“The whole county, we only have 152 customers out (of power) total in the Hall County area,” said Lynn Wallace, a spokeswoman for Georgia Power. Of those, 104 were in Dahlonega.

Wallace said the Hall County area was in “pretty good shape,” and most of the power outages were in Northwest Georgia.

Col. Jeff Strickland of the Hall County Sheriff’s office said he received “a number of alarm calls,” due to power outages or lightning, but no major incidents.

The weather was expected to clear up overnight, making way for nicer weather today and Sunday.

It should be sunny or partly cloudy with temperatures in the high 60s through the weekend.

Other than a chance of rain early on, it doesn’t look like there will be much rain next week.

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