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Heavy rains force road closures, down trees in Hall County
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Muddy water moves quickly along Flat Creek as it swells due to heavy rainfall Thursday, Feb. 6, 2020, along Highland Terrace in Gainesville. - photo by Scott Rogers

Update, Feb. 7: Lawson  and Calvary Church roads both remained closed Friday morning following Thursday’s heavy rains. Both roads will remain closed until further notice.

Belton Bridge Road and Bryant Quarter Road had been closed late Thursday evening, but both of those roadways were reopened early Friday.

Rufus Bryant Road at its intersection with Stowers Road was also closed Thursday night due to downed trees blocking the roadway. That blockage has since been cleared.


Update, 9:30 p.m:

Severe weather brought trees down and closed some Hall County roads, but nothing further is expected by Hall County public safety officials.

"There is no further severe weather forecasted for (Thursday night) or (Friday)," Hall County EMA Director Casey Ramsey wrote in an email Thursday.

At least one person had to be rescued from flood waters after choosing to go kayaking during the stormy conditions.

Hall County Fire Services spokesman Zach Brackett said the West Fork Little River near Jim Hood and Highland roads had overflowed its banks, and people in the area decided to kayak.

“One of them actually got stranded on a tree branch (and) became separated from his kayak,”

Brackett said.

Firefighters used the aerial ladder truck around 5 p.m. Thursday to rescue the kayaker.

Several area roads were also affected by the rains.

Lawson Road in North Hall was closed by Hall County because of “hazardous conditions caused by heavy rains,” a press release stated.

“There's a heavy stormwater flow and possible damage to the roadway that will need to be repaired,” Hall County Engineer Kevin McInturff said. “It's just not safe for motorists at this time.

The road will remain closed until further notice, he said.

Also, Calvary Church Road is closed between Poplar Springs Church Road and Poplar Springs Road in South Hall.

Hall County Schools Superintendent Will Schofield said Belton Bridge Road and Bryant Quarter Road were also going to be closed.

Schofield said with a few roads currently closed, the school system “will not travel them with buses.”

“Our transportation department has made alternative arrangements for students impacted by road closures. These plans have been communicated to parents. Students will have access to transportation to school (Friday) in Hall County,” Hall County Schools spokesman Stan Lewis wrote in an email.

A tornado warning was issued Thursday morning in South Hall, but there have been no confirmed reports of a twister.

Two trees were reported to have fallen in Gainesville, one on Montgomery Drive and one on Valley Drive, according to Public Works Director Chris Rotalsky. Crews were working Thursday  to clear debris out of street drains throughout the city.

Brackett said a tree fell into a residence off of Falcon Parkway, but no injuries were reported.

He said there are concerns about gusty winds that could bring down more trees.

Lewis said the school system’s transportation department was continuing to monitor the situation.

3 p.m. update: Two trees were reported to have fallen in Gainesville, one on Montgomery Drive and one on Valley Drive, according to Public Works Director Chris Rotalsky. Crews have been working to clear debris out of street drains throughout the city.

1 p.m. update: Lawson Road in North Hall has been closed by Hall County because of “hazardous conditions caused by heavy rains,” a press release states.

“There's a heavy stormwater flow and possible damage to the roadway that will need to be repaired,” Hall County Engineer Kevin McInturff said. “It's just not safe for motorists at this time.

The road will remain closed until further notice, he said.

Also, Calvary Church Road is closed between Poplar Springs Church Road and Poplar Springs Road in South Hall.


8:30 a.m. update: A tornado warning has been issued for south central Hall County until 8:45 a.m.

At 8:16 a.m., a severe thunderstorm capable of producing a tornado was located nine miles southwest of Lawrenceville, moving northeast at 55 mph. Locations that may be affected include Braselton.

Regional events