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Heavy rain still likely tonight; Lanier up 2.31 feet
Rain chances diminish starting tomorrow
0922tree2
A worker cuts the branches and limbs of a tree in front of The Norton Agency Monday morning after a fallen tree closed Green Street, one of Gainesville’s busiest arteries. - photo by SARA GUEVARA

0922WEATHERaud

Teri Pope, spokeswoman for the Georgia Department of Transportation, talks about staying safe if driving during hard rains.

Flood warning issued for Hall, surrounding areas

Tonight: Showers likely and possibly a thunderstorm before 2am, then a chance of showers and thunderstorms after 2am. Some of the storms could produce heavy rainfall. Cloudy, with a low around 68. East wind around 5 mph. Chance of precipitation is 70%. New rainfall amounts between a quarter and half of an inch possible.

Tuesday: A 50 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Some of the storms could produce heavy rainfall. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 79. East wind between 5 and 10 mph.

Tuesday Night: A 30 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms before 2am. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 67. East wind around 10 mph.

Wednesday: A 30 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms, mainly after 2pm. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 85. East wind between 5 and 10 mph.

Wednesday Night: A 20 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms before 2am. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 68. East wind between 5 and 10 mph.

Thursday: A 40 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 83.

Thursday Night: A 20 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 67.

Friday: A 30 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 84.

Friday Night: A 20 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 66.

The National Weather Service has issued a flood warning for Hall and surrounding counties, but their may be a glimmer of hope.

(This story will be updated throughout the day as developments warrant.) 

The National Weather Service forecast calls for continued heavy rain chances tonight, but the chance of rain tomorrow drops to 50 percent and on Wednesday, it's just 30 percent.

Almost 5 inches of rain has fallen at Lee Gilmer Memorial Airport since Sunday, and Lake Lanier has risen 2.31 feet since 7 a.m. Sunday morning.

The flood warning, which will continue until 2:45 a.m. Tuesday morning, affects Hall, Dawson, Lumpkin and White Counties.

An additional 1 to 3 inches of rain is possible overnight, weather forecasters say.

Brown Street is closed to through traffic until further notice. Heavy rains have damaged the road just north of its intersection with Eugene Drive, washing out an entire lane.

But Green Street, one of the city's busiest roads, reopened at 2:20 p.m. Monday after being closed for several hours because of a fallen tree.

Hall County Assistant Public Works Director Ken Smith said the newly established bank on Brown Street in east Gainesville has eroded into the creek, and the water is undermining the road.

Hall County recently completed repaving and drainage construction on Brown Street as part of a broad effort to revitalize the neighborhood.

This summer, two stormwater pipe crossings were repaired on Brown Street, dangerous shoulder conditions improved, guardrails installed near stream crossings and the steep slope restructured.

The forecast calls for more rain this week, so Smith anticipates an extended closing. The public will be notified when the road reopens.

The road is one of two entrances into the Morningside Heights area.

"We have a mess," said Teri Pope, spokeswoman for the Georgia Department of Transportation.

Stephens and Gwinnett counties particularly have been hit hard, she said.

"Those are areas that have gotten exponential amounts of rain over the last 24 to 48 hours," she said. "We're having standing water problems throughout North Georgia."

Overnight thunderstorms may have awaken many Hall County commuters this morning, but the rains largely subsided by the time of the rush-hour drive to work or school.

Col. Jeff Strickland of the Hall County Sheriff's Office and Gordon Higgins of the Hall County school system reported no particular problems on the roads or at schools this morning.

Bus stops weren't as crowded, as parents lined up to drop off their children at schools.
In Gainesville, a fallen tree closed Green Street, one of Gainesville's busiest arteries, impairing traffic for the past couple of hours.

Firefighters, Gainesville Police, the Georgia Department of Transportation and Georgia Power responded to the scene in front of The Norton Agency and a block or so past the U.S. Post Office.

Police directed traffic down side streets while workers cleaned up the mess.
Jon Canada, Gainesville's fire chief, said another tree that has been leaning from its roots is being cut down by Georgia Power.

Elsewhere in the city, things were relatively quiet.

"There's just a lot of heavy water on the roads right now," Canada said

The incessant rains are blamed for at least one death in Georgia.

Emergency workers in Lawrenceville found a woman dead in her vehicle, which was submerged in water after having been swept from the road by flooding, said Capt. Thomas Rutledge of the Gwinnett County Fire and Emergency Services.

"In my 22 years in the fire department here in Gwinnett we have not experienced flooding to this degree," he said.

The rolling storms shut down school systems in Paulding County, Douglas County, Gwinnett County, Carroll County and Stephens County. It also flooded homes, washed out some roads and left standing water on some busy metro Atlanta highways.

Lisa Janak of the Georgia Emergency Management Agency says the rains caused a mudslide that blocked part of Stone Mountain Freeway. She says motorists should not drive through standing water and residents should stay home if they don't have to drive.

Trisha Palmer of the National Weather Service says that as much as 20 inches of rain has fallen on the area since Friday as a series of strong storms rumbled through. She says parts of Douglas and Carroll counties have received more than a foot of rain in the last day alone.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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