Updated: 10:45 p.m. Thursday, July 4, 2013 | Posted: 8:31 p.m. Monday, July 1, 2013
By John Spink, Cailin O’Brien
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
A flash flood watch for Metro Atlanta has been extended until Friday night and the rain is expected to continue through Sunday.
“This persistent tropical flow will continue for the next several days,” said Channel 2 Meteorologist David Chandley. “We can expect to see an additional 1 to 3 inches of rain.”
Light rain will taper off overnight, only to start up again Friday morning as the same weather system stuck over the area cranks up again, extending the flash flood watch the National Weather Service has issued for the area.
Scattered showers are expected Friday with a few storms capable of heavy downpours, Chandley said. That pattern will linger through Saturday with the showers and storms becoming less numerous by Sunday.
Temps will remain mild for July with highs on Friday in the 70s, near 80 on Saturday and low to mid-80s on Sunday.
“What you get is Pete and repeat,” Chandley said of of continuing rain Friday. “So we’re going to hold on to the flash flood watch on into the evening until 8 o’clock.”
While stormy forecasts caused cities across Georgia to call off Fourth of July events, a window Thursday evening allowed some displays to continue as planned.
The morning began with scattered rain showers that soaked the 60,000 runners at the AJC Peachtree Road Race, but did not cause any delays or major problems.
But for Atlanta resident Sylvia Walden, the storms have already brought expensive consequences. Walden was asleep Thursday at about 6 a.m. when a branch from her neighbor’s tree crashed onto her house on Rollingwood Lane.
The branch fell directly over the bedroom where she was sleeping.
“I’m blessed and highly favored that it didn’t come through the roof and puncture my body,” she said.
But the branch did damage both Walden’s brand new Toyota Camry and her Chevrolet pickup truck.
All of metro Atlanta is under a flash flood watch through Friday morning, and Fulton and Forsyth counties are also under a flood warning until Friday afternoon. According to Severe Weather Team 2, both are affected by Big Creek, which is expected to reach the flood stage of 8 feet by Thursday evening.
Chandley said more flash flood warnings are likely to pop up through Thursday.
“There are and will continue to be numerous flash flood warnings for metro counties,” he said. “Roads, creeks and streams will easily flood in areas that have seen the heaviest rain (Wednesday). The severe weather risk is low, but some of the storms will produce lightning and gusty winds.”
The City of Flowery Branch declared a local state of emergency Wednesday night due to the significant rainfall it had seen and the forecast for more showers, Mayor Mike Miller said in a news release.
City Manager Bill Andrew told the AJC on Thursday morning that the state of emergency could only be lifted by a vote from city council — and that no such meeting has been set up yet.
“I would see us lifting the state of emergency early next week,” he said.
Cantrell Street was closed where it crosses Flowery Branch Creek, and the city was moving forward on a temporary bridge for Spring Street, he said. The temporary bridge was still up, but one lane of the closed street has opened. The mayor said the measures were proactive and there had not been any structural failures.
There were reports of significant flood problems in Union County, with up to 6 inches of rain in isolated areas, Channel 2 meteorologist Brad Nitz said.
In Cobb County, Church Street at Flagler Street in Smyrna was shut down because power poles were damaged, Channel 2 Action News reported. The street reopened Thursday afternoon.
Parts of North and Central Georgia can also expect wind gusts possibly reaching 40 mph or more and frequent lightening.
A high of 78 is expected on Thursday.
More seasonal temperatures are expected by the weekend, with highs returning to the mid to upper 80s and lows in the 70s.
— Staff writer Marcus K. Garner contributed to this report.