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Lanier is inches shy of full pool with more rain expected today
Lake is within inches of being full
A portion of Ledan Road remains closed Tuesday due to roadway damages caused by recent heavy rains. - photo by BRANDEE A. THOMAS

National Weather Service radar

 Today: Occasional showers. High near 63. East wind between 5 and 10 mph, with gusts as high as 15 mph. Chance of precipitation is 100 percent. New rainfall amounts between a quarter and half of an inch possible.

Tonight: A 50 percent chance of showers. Cloudy, with a low around 50. East wind between 5 and 10 mph. New rainfall amounts between a tenth and quarter of an inch possible.

Thursday: A chance of showers and thunderstorms, then showers likely and possibly a thunderstorm after 2 p.m. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 67. West wind between 5 and 10 mph. Chance of precipitation is 60 percent. New rainfall amounts between a tenth and quarter of an inch, except higher amounts possible in thunderstorms.

Thursday Night: A chance of showers. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 51. West wind around 5 mph. Chance of precipitation is 50 percent.

Friday: Mostly sunny, with a high near 63. West wind around 10 mph.

Friday Night: A 20 percent chance of showers. Partly cloudy, with a low around 46.

Saturday: Partly sunny, with a high near 55.

Recent rains have several area creeks bursting at the seams and Lake Lanier within inches of reaching full pool.

Northeast Georgia was expected to receive between one-half to three-quarters of an inch of rain overnight, according to National Weather Service forecasters, with an additional inch or two likely today.

As of 6:45 a.m. Wednesday morning, Lake Lanier was at 1,070.97 feet above sea level, just .06 feet away from its full pool of 1,071 feet. About two-thirds of an inch of rain fell overnight. That's on top of nearly four inches of rain Monday that increased the lake level by almost a foot. The lake hasn’t been at full pool since 2005 and reached its all-time low of 1,050.79 feet in December 2007.

Like many other North Georgia areas, Hall and Jackson counties are under a flash flood watch through tonight. Because the soil is still saturated from recent rains, any additional rainfall will “quickly run off into creeks, rivers and streams resulting in rapid rises and potentially more significant flooding,” weather service staff report. There is at least a 30 percent chance of rain through Friday.

A flash flood watch means that flooding may occur and drivers are advised to not drive in areas where water covers the road.

A portion of Ledan Extension in North Hall County remains closed after heavy rains Monday caused county officials to close the section of the roadway near its intersection with Chaco Road.

According to Kem Smith, Hall County Assistant Public Works Director, the creek bed below the roadway was “swollen from the rain,” damaging a pipe. That caused the roadway to be “undermined” and eventually wash out. The county will notify the public when the road is reopened, but repairs will take several days to complete.

Curry Creek in Jefferson also is retaining additional water following recent downpours, but no flooding issues have been reported.

“The street department has spent the day riding around making sure all of the storm drains are open and I haven’t heard about any problems from them,” said Jeff Killip, Jefferson Public Works director. “There are a few houses along the banks (of the creek), but so far there hasn’t been any water damage.”

Killip said that as of Tuesday, the creek had risen around 3 or 4 feet, causing the usually low waters to nearly cover a small pedestrian bridge in Curry Creek Park near the Jefferson Civic Center on Kissam Street. Although no problems have occurred, Jefferson isn’t totally out of the woods.

“There is a water reservoir directly upstream that prevented Curry Creek from flooding,” said Killip. “But of course with the heavy rain that we had, it’s filled now.”