ATLANTA - Heavy rain drenched north Georgia on Wednesday, forcing cities to cancel Fourth of July festivities and putting a damper on the start to a long holiday weekend.
Severe Weather Team 2 meteorologist David Chandley said even though there has been a lull in the heavy rain Wednesday evening, light to moderate rain will continue to fall all over north Georgia.
Heavier rain is expected to move in overnight and into the morning.
“Rainfall rates of 1 to 3 inches will be common in the next 24 hours and some spots may see up to 5 inches total by Saturday,” Chandley said.
Chandley expected numerous flash flood warnings to pop up for metro counties. The National Weather Service issued a flash flood watch until 8 a.m. Friday.
“Roads, creeks and streams will easily flood in areas that have seen the heaviest rain today. The severe weather risk is low, but some of the storms will produce lightning and gusty winds,” Chandley said. “I still think the higher rain totals will be west and north of Atlanta.”
Meteorologist Karen Minton will be in Severe Weather Center 2 monitoring rain and flooding on Thursday morning as the AJC Peachtree Road Race kicks off.
Flowery Branch declares state of emergency
The city of Flowery Branch has issued a local state of emergency until further notice.
Officials with the city said they declared the state of emergency in response to the large amount of rain they received Wednesday afternoon.
Also, the city said Cantrell Street has been closed where it crosses over the Flowery Branch Creek.
They also said they are going to be installing a temporary bridge for Spring Street, where the bridge conditions worsened after flooding Wednesday.
Rain won't stop Road Race
Georgia Department of Transportation crews worked with Atlanta Watershed to clear storm drains along Peachtree Road in anticipation of the race.
Race leaders are initiating a flag warning system along the route and will be watching the weather closely.
The race will start under yellow flag conditions, officials told Channel 2’s Rachel Stockman. A yellow flag means slow down, red means potentially dangerous conditions and a black flag means participants should stop.
If parts of the race route flood there will be detours. Organizers told Stockman they have several contingency plans but the race will go on in the rain. For a list of street closures click here.
Fireworks planners staying flexible
Despite the rain, the Georgia Salutes America celebration promises to end Independence Day with a fireworks spectacular.
Channel 2’s Wendy Corona spent the day with organizers at Centennial Olympic Park. The event airs on Channel 2 at 9 p.m. Thursday night.
Joe Skopitz, the park’s assistant general manager, said the real issue is lightning and high winds. Skoptiz said if severe weather moves in they will ask people to exit the park and they can either leave for the evening or go to the Georgia World Congress Center.
Tourist Mitzi Galason told Corona, “We don’t care. We’re here for the long haul. Rain or shine.”
The fireworks company said only high-level winds would cause them to pull some fireworks out of the show.
Officials said they are also flexible with the start time. Weather could move the fireworks up as early as 9:15 p.m. or as late as 10:45 p.m. Stay with Channel 2 Action News for updates on the event.
Many local cities have already postponed their Fourth of July fireworks and parades. For a complete list click here.
IF YOU GO:
- Gates open at 6 p.m. Fireworks are scheduled for 9:45 p.m.
- Watch live on Channel 2 at 9 p.m. or streaming on our mobile sites/apps
- Collapsible chiars and personal umbrellas are permitted
- Avoid traffic by using MARTA. Exit at Peachtree Cetner or GWCC-CNN-Dome
- Park visitors under 16 must be accompanied by a parent
- Not allowed: Weapons, alcohol, glass bottles, fireworks, coolers, outside food/beverage, grills or pets
- All bags could be inspected
- Main entry on Andrew Young Int'l at Centennial Park Dr. and Marietta St.
Local flooding possible
Some Gwinnett County residents are worried that rain could further erode a hill in their back yard and flood their homes.
One neighbor showed Channel 2’s Richard Elliot cellphone video of red, muddy water pouring down a hill into his yard.
“You can’t go out into your back yard. It’s like the Chattahoochee River with white water. It’s running that bad,” Catherine Rivenbark said.
She told Elliot the problem has existed for about a month and they’ve asked the developer to fix it. County officials have also looked into the runoff. The developer has not returned Elliot’s phone calls.
More rain following June storms
Residents in north Fulton County are bracing for more rain, even though many have not cleaned up from storms in June.
Amanda MacClellan told Channel 2’s Mike Petchenik that a pine tree took out part of her roof during those storms.
“The tree was all the way from the fence to the top of the house and just pine tree everywhere,” MacClellan said. “It’s just a mess right now here.”
A tarp still covers part of her home as she waits for their insurance to cover the repairs.
Michael Friedlander, with Dr. Roof, said he’s dealing with a backlog of calls and many homeowners are forced to wait.
“If they still have an active leak it’s important to put up a tarp if at all possible to prevent more damage,” Friedlander told Petchenik.
“We’re pushing the limit going out to give estimates and diagnose the leak, which in the past we tried to avoid doing on rainy days,” Friedlander said.
Stay with Channel 2 Action News and Severe Weather Team 2 for coverage of the rain, potential flooding and Fourth of July events.