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Washout of a weekend will continue Sunday
Heavy rainfall keeps many indoors, soaks events, but shoppers stay hardy
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Tabitha Gonzalez of Cleveland walks to meet a high school friend Saturday in downtown Gainesville. Rain continued throughout the day and is expected to continue Sunday. - photo by Erin O. Smith

National Weather Service forecast for Gainesville

Sunday: Showers. The rain could be heavy at times. Areas of fog between 9am and 2pm. High near 69. Northeast wind 10 to 15 mph, with gusts as high as 25 mph. Chance of precipitation is 90%. New precipitation amounts between a half and three quarters of an inch possible.

Sunday Night: Showers likely, mainly before 7pm. Cloudy, with a low around 61. North wind around 10 mph, with gusts as high as 20 mph. Chance of precipitation is 60%. New precipitation amounts between a tenth and quarter of an inch possible.

Monday: A 20 percent chance of showers. Cloudy, with a high near 70. Northeast wind 5 to 10 mph, with gusts as high as 20 mph.

All clad in weather appropriate rain gear, Kelsey Payne, a Brenau University student from Chattanooga and several out-of-town guests left Dress Up with their hands full of shopping bags as they headed to their next destination on a gray, rainy Saturday.

“I don’t really mind (the rain),” Payne said, one advantage of the weather being the numerous parking spots available, “When it’s sunny you can’t come to the square at all.”

With plans to attend a Brenau soccer game Saturday afternoon, other events were not scheduled as rain or shine.

“All of our homecoming events at school got canceled because of the rain, so that was a little bit of a bummer,” Payne said.

The rain that soaked North Georgia all week continued through the day Saturday, causing many events to be scrapped or moved indoors. Even the annual Petit Le Mans road race at Road Atlanta was shortened by a steady downpour.

Hall County remained under a flash flood watch with the rain expected to continue Sunday, according to Ryan Willis, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service’s Peachtree City office.

“We’re expecting a good bit of rainfall from now through (Sunday) and the rainfall amounts we’re expecting could lead to some flash flooding,” Willis said.

Willis said that with the increase in rainfall through Saturday night, local waterways could rise to or above flood stage, threatening nearby low-lying areas. More than an inch of rain was recorded in Gainesville from Friday afternoon through Saturday evening by the NWS recording station at Lee Gilmer Memorial Airport.

“We expect more rain,” Willis said, adding that additional rain was moving in through the night Saturday.

With expected rainfall totals ranging from 3 to 5 inches by this afternoon, Willis cautions drivers on the roads.

“People shouldn’t try to drive through if it looks like water’s over the roadway. Just assume that it’s deeper than they think and try to find an alternative route,” Willis said. “If the rain’s really coming down, try not to get out on the roads.”

By Monday most of the rain should be tapering off into scattered showers, he said.

Hailey Pugh, sales associate at Dress Up on the square, was impressed by the number of customers Saturday.

“I’m actually really proud of them because I would not want to come out during the 40 days and 40 nights of rain,” Pugh said.

Anna Sifontes of Braselton, a sale representative at Rahab’s Rope, said that for a Saturday, the rain kept a lot of people away, but some don’t mind or want to get out of the house.

“More people stay at home and have lazy days than usual but some people do like it, so they come out regardless,” Sifontes said.

The sun could make an appearance through the beginning of the work week, according to the forecast. For more weather information visit the National Weather Service at