Flood watch, heavy rain threaten 4th of July events

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ATLANTA - All of metro Atlanta is under a flash flood watch through Friday morning, putting a damper on outdoor Fourth of July plans.

The threat of precipitation canceled nearly a dozen fireworks and holiday events across the region with many other communities still deciding if they should postpone.

Severe Weather Team 2 meteorologist Karen Minton said the watch includes the entire metro area and north Georgia.

"It's going to be running over the same tracks over and over again, and that's going to give you that training effect, which could lead to flash  flooding in some cases," Minton said.

Minton said to expect widespread and heavy rain  to develop and move across metro Atlanta and all of north Georgia Wednesday and continue through Thursday.

Fulton and Forsyth counties are also under a flood warning until Friday afternoon. Minton said both are affected by Big Creek, which is expected to reach flood stage of 8 feet by Thursday evening.

"When the creek reaches 8 feet, minor flooding will expand into the woodlands and fields along the creek from near Cumming in south Forsyth to Alpharetta and Roswell in north Fulton county," Minton said. "If it gets this high, parts of the greenway will be covered with water of 1-2 feet and most of the walking and biking paths will be closed upstream and downstream from the gage on Kimball Bridge Rodad and near Rock Hill Park."

She is forecasting 2 to 4 inches of rain to fall through Friday with some isolated spots even higher.

For Wednesday, Minton said to expect off and on showers with some heavy rain possible and a high of 80 degrees.

The flash flood went into effect Wednesday morning and is expected to last through Friday morning.



Fourth of July events threatened

The potential for flooding and heavy rain is forcing some metro cities to postpone Independence Day celebrations.

Sugar Hill officials were one of the first to notify Channel 2 Action News of their cancellation. Their event draws about 10,000 people but officials postponed it because of the threat of severe weather.

"It was just going to be dangers to have 10,000 people in here. You can't move very fast if something happens. It's just going to be a catastrophe," city manager Bob Hail told Channel 2's Richard Elliot.

Hail said the event will now take place on Aug. 3 as a back-to-school celebration.

Other cities to postpone their events include Kennesaw, Calhoun, Lilburn and Villa Rica. For a complete list of canceled events click here.

Runners Prepare for Wet Race

Organizers of the 44th AJC Peachtree Road Race spent Tuesday planning for a worst-case scenario, just a year after steamy, sunny weather.

Channel 2's Rachel Stockman spoke with race director Tracey Russell on Tuesday. Russell said they are in contact with the National Weather Service and emergency management.

"It depends on where in the city it's happening so I think rather than put out too much information, if it ends up raining, we are going to have the event," Russell said.

"Thunder and lightning, inclement weather would cause us to make some changes at the start. Again, all of those decisions will be made collectively," Russell added.

Runner who spoke to Stockman said they are taking the weather and all of the new security measures in stride.

"My new shoes are made just for running puddles, stuff like that. No problem," runner Jaron Brown told Stockman.

An Unusual Weather Pattern

Severe Weather Team 2 meteorologist David Chandley said the wet weather is the result of an unusual pattern. 

"The end result will be periods of heavy rain with the high likelihood of "training." That is a term used by meteorologists that describes a rain flow that resembles box cars of train rolling over the same tracks, so areas get hit with heavy rainfall over and over again," Chandley said.

Read David's analysis of the the weather pattern here.

Stay with Severe Weather Team 2 and Channel 2 Action News for continuing coverage of the coming rain and for updates on canceled and postponed Fourth of July events.


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