Hall County got the best of strong storms that moved through the area Monday — some much needed rainfall and no damage to speak of.
Forecasters with the National Weather Service said as of about 7:30 p.m., 1Ú inches had fallen, much of that after 5:30 p.m., thanks to the remnants of what was once Tropical Storm Lee.
“It helps out a lot to have this rainfall in a somewhat controlled fashion like this,” said Robert Garcia, forecaster with the weather service. “An inch, an inch and a half has probably done you guys a lot more good than harm.”
The region likely will get more rain today, possibly another inch, Garcia said, depending on if the area gets some of the heavier storms today.
“We do expect it to continue (today), but it hopefully should start tapering off as we go through the day,” he said.
Lake Lanier’s level did not register much benefit Monday night, standing at 1,064.30 feet above sea level as of 10:30 p.m., just shy of 7 feet below normal full pool of 1,071. It stood at 1,064.32 Sunday morning before rain began drenching the area. Rainfall north of the lake typically takes time to register as it flows downstream toward Lanier.
Though Hall and other area counties were in a tornado watch Monday evening, the region was spared from any serious damage, even in Lumpkin and Dawson counties, which saw tornado warnings in the early evening.
Other regions of the state were not so lucky.
One person was injured and multiple homes and businesses damaged in a possible tornado in Cherokee County, authorities said.
Lt. Jay Baker with the Cherokee County Sheriff’s department said the storm toppled trees, snapped power lines and damaged homes in Woodstock. The victim was taken to the hospital after being hit by falling debris but his injuries were not life-threatening, Baker said.
Throughout the subdivision, trees were splintered and roof shingles were ripped off of homes, officials said. Even the county’s Emergency Management Agency had to take cover during the storm.
“These are some heavily populated areas,” Baker said. “We’re trying to figure out how bad the extent of the damage is.”
Georgia Emergency Management Agency spokeswoman Lisa Janak said about 100 homes were damaged by the storm in Cherokee County. In other parts of the state, six families were evacuated from a Catoosa County apartment building because of flooding, while slick roads caused an 18-car pileup in Monroe County, Janak said.
No injuries were reported in those incidents, she said.
At the Dixie Speedway in Woodstock, owner Mickey Swims estimated his racetrack had up to $500,000 worth of damage — including about 2,000 feet of chain-link fence uprooted from its concrete base, walls blown out of a bathrooms and concession stands and tractor-trailer trucks turned into mangled messes. Swims said he and his wife hid in their home’s basement about a mile from the racetrack during the storm.
“I heard it and saw the trees go around and around,” Swims told Associated Press. “I knew when I heard it that if it touched down, it was going to be bad.”
The state was expected to get up to four inches of rain by this morning.