Heavy rains kill seven in Georgia

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 1:27 PM GMT on September 22, 2009

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Very heavy rains exceeding fifteen inches have soaked the Atlanta, Georgia region over the past two days, triggering widespread major flooding. Record flood levels have been observed on seven rivers and creeks in the Atlanta area, breaking records that had been set as long ago as 1919. In one case, the new flood record (for Utoy Creek near Atlanta), was more that ten feet above the previous record, with the creek still rising. The Chattahoochee River was one of the rivers that rose to record levels, and flood waters from the Chattahoochee crested over the I-285 bridge in western Atlanta, forcing closure of the expressway. At least seven people have been killed, according to ajc.com, with at least six people still missing.


Figure 1. Radar estimated rainfall for the Atlanta, Georgia region ending on September 22. More than 15 inches (white colors) had fallen in and around Atlanta.

A list of the records set so far:

Noonday Creek near Woodstock 19.66 ft 21/530 PM, old record 16.30 ft (07/11/2005)

Nickajack Creek at Mableton 19.30 ft 22/215 am, old record 16.60 ft (07/11/2005)

North Fork Peachtree Creek at Atlanta 18.07 ft 21/715 PM, old record 17.70 ft (09/16/2004)

Utoy Creek near Atlanta 27.04 ft 22/715 am, old record 16.86 ft (05/06/2003)...still rising

Chattahoochee River at Whitesburg 29.58 ft 21/1015 PM, old record 29.11 ft (12/11/1919)

Suwanee Creek at Suwanee 14.30 ft 21/645 PM, old record 12.04 ft (10/05/1996)

Yellow River at Lithonia 25.50 ft 22/515 am, old record 17.53 ft (05/07/2003)... nearly steady

Yellow River near Conyers 20.80 ft 22/730 am, old record 16.36 ft (07/08/2005) below Milstead...still rising

Chattahoochee River at Franklin 28.71 ft 22/715 am, old record 28.40 ft (12/15/1919)...still rising

The strong flow of moist air from the southeast that fueled the heavy rains has diminished today, and no widespread heavy rains will affect northern Georgia over the next few days. However, there will be some scattered thunderstorms in the region the next two days that will dump heavy downpours over local areas, and these thunderstorms will keep flood waters from receding much along some flooded rivers and creeks. It is possible that some additional moisture from the remains of Hurricane Fred will affect northern Georgia and South Carolina Wednesday and Thursday, boosting rainfall totals from these scattered thunderstorms.


Figure 2. AVHRR visible satellite image of Hurricane Hugo taken on September 22, 1989. Hugo was over Ohio at this time, and had finally been declared extratropical.

Twenty years ago today
Hurricane Hugo plowed through the center of South Carolina on September 22, 1989, reaching the North Carolina border 140 miles inland by 8am EDT. Amazingly, Hugo remained at hurricane strength for its entire passage through South Carolina--a full eight hours. The hurricane caused massive damage to forests, buildings, and power lines along the way, killing thirteen South Carolinans in total. Charlotte, North Carolina, over 200 miles inland, and a place of refuge for many South Carolinans that fled the storm, received sustained winds of 69 mph from Hugo--just below the 74-mph threshold of hurricane strength. Hugo turned northwards and roared through Virginia, where it killed six people, then into West Virginia and Ohio, where it was finally declared extratropical at 2pm EDT on the 22nd. The hurricane claimed its final victim near Buffalo, New York, when winds from Hugo toppled a tree onto a motorist.

In all, Hugo did $7 billion in damage to the continental U.S., and $10 billion over its entire path ($17.6 billion in 2009 dollars), making it the most costly hurricane ever at that time. The final death toll was 56.


Figure 3. Maximum wind gusts recorded from Hurricane Hugo of 1989. Wind gusts in excess of 80 mph (green hatched areas) were recorded all the way to the North Carolina border, 140 miles inland. Image credit: National Hurricane Center.

There are no threat areas in the Atlantic to discuss today, and none of our reliable computer models are forecasting tropical storm development over the next seven days.

Jeff Masters

Suwanee Creek Greenway flooding (takabanana)
Suwanee Creek Greenway flooding

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Quoting IKE:
This blog is dead.
Tropics are dead.
Season is a joke.


Well, the Tropics are "like a box of chocolates, you NEVER know what you're going to get until you open the box"! Weather456, a professional private forecaster seems to believe the Tropics will liven up here in about 10 days of so!!

However, on the bright side, no disaster declarations, millions of coastal residents can enjoy life without the threat of losing their personal belongings to a storm surge or wind!! FEMA gets a break, we get to study and see how El Nino and shear disrupts the Tropics!! And last but not least, the years after El Nino, from my understanding, get pretty crazy!!

As far as the blog being dead, drink some coffee, chill, relax because weather is happening all over the world, something interesting is bound to happen!!

P.S. Smile and be HAPPY :0)!!
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149. IKE
12Z NOGAPS....shows a trough digging all the way to the gulf coast early next week. Leaves and acorns will be falling off the trees in my yard....soon.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
I hope they can store a chunk of these flood waters in the reservoirs near Atlanta. The region keeps jumping in and out of drought, and no doubt will be back in it soon.
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Quoting hurricaneseason2006:
Good Afternoon Weather456. It seems you were right, Fred amount to little and is now heading for either Goergia or South Carolina.

When is your next blog, is it still tommorrow?


yes, the first full day of Fall
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
Quoting Orcasystems:
Maybe we should have gotten Weather 456 to write about the Texas drought earlier.. here is the map from his Blog



Here is the latest NEXRAD pictures



Looks like the rain is where it needs to be.


It is more about look at what drought had done rather than the relieve thats coming now. Also the last paragraph comments on relieve that is occurring now.
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
Those morons in North Dakota should've known better, right?
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For those still deciding on where to relocate, the map and statistics below may be of interest.

Presidential disaster declarations related to flooding in the United States, shown by county: Green areas represent one declaration; yellow areas represent two declarations; orange areas represent three declarations; red areas represent four or more declarations between June 1, 1965, and June 1, 2003 – image courtesy of USGS

about two-thirds of the country has had disaster declarations for flooding four or more times

In fact, 91% of Americans live in places at a moderate-to-high risk of earthquakes, volcanoes, tornadoes, wildfires, hurricanes, flooding, high-wind damage or terrorism, according to an estimate calculated for TIME by the Hazards and Vulnerability Research Institute at the University of South Carolina. http://www.wunderground.com/education/Katrinas_surge_part10.asp?MR=1

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Good Afternoon all

Texas Drought Situation
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
140. IKE


You know the season is dead when the 12Z CMC shows nothing. I think most folks have given up.

TROPICAL WEATHER OUTLOOK
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL
200 PM EDT TUE SEP 22 2009

FOR THE NORTH ATLANTIC...CARIBBEAN SEA AND THE GULF OF MEXICO...

TROPICAL CYCLONE FORMATION IS NOT EXPECTED DURING THE NEXT 48 HOURS.

$$
FORECASTER BERG
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
139. IKE
This blog is dead.
Tropics are dead.
Season is a joke.

Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
Sept I go POOF
Your house has got a roof.
The lack of storms has brought
A death toll that stands at naught
JFV still alive as proof.
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Quoting watcher123:
Anyone with half a brain would know not to zone residential and school properties in known flood zones that have had a similar level of flooding as recently as a few years ago.

On the other hand, in a "FEMA will pay for it" age, everybody just builds whereever they want to with no accountability.


Quick decision:

I can build in a valley which probably floods....or I can build on a hill top which probably does not flood....gee, I wonder which I shall do....If I were as dumb as a NOLA resident or a Georgia resident, I'd build in a hole and then blame the president when it floods.


Do not fear people, do not fear. The FEderal government will just print more paper money to magically replace your idiotic possessions which you willfully build below sea level and/or below calculable flood levels in valleys...Do not give any thought to the fact that you are robbing other portions of the civilization, and especially your own children...just keep wasting away all our goods and services through foolish decisions, after all, it's the American Way!

After all, modern capitalist economists define "Strong economy" by the amount of resources consumed, rather than the amount of resources saved or spent wisely. So by that definition, your idiocy actually helps the economy!!

Bravo! We are on our way out of the paper recession, as you fools just created thousands of jobs for construction laborers! Bravo!!


LMAO!!! :D
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134. IKE
12Z GFS.....shows the end of summer in the east by early next week.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858


Whats left of Fred heading towards Florida...
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Sept= I go POOF????
Any one out there?
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I was off the blog for a little while.
Is it still Sept?
Did the Fat lady sing?
Sept=POOF?
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Quoting arydell:
We live just outside Bryson City- about 2.5 hours from Hickory, if there are no stops on the Interstate.


ah ok, not too far out
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We live just outside Bryson City- about 2.5 hours from Hickory, if there are no stops on the Interstate.
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I appreciate your view on what happened to you during your time with the hurricane. And kudos for getting your native tongue to work with English- you did a super job of it!
We lived 'in the catcher's mitt' of NC, near Wilmington, NC, and suffered through 5 of them, starting with Bonnie. Only a few radio stations stayed on air, and the local cable TV station went off air, as they secured their large satellite dish against the winds. Not helpful at all, but at least we knew the hurricanes were coming.
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Anyone know what effect if any that the Georgia flodds may have on the Savannah River and it's water levels?
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Quoting arydell:
We live on the SE border of the Great Smokies, and have had drought situations for the past 5 years. This summer, I measured over 18 inches of rain, with an additional 6 inches from last Tues to this- our friends, who live between Whittier and Dillsboro, have had less than 5 inches total, all Summer long. Weather is surely a carpricious creature!


where in particular to you live?

my parents live in Hickory
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Quoting duajones78413:
Coming down hard now, hopefully we will get a good amount of rain afterall


that would be nice, I'm still hoping for some rain here, .07 inches this month
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We live on the SE border of the Great Smokies, and have had drought situations for the past 5 years. This summer, I measured over 18 inches of rain, with an additional 6 inches from last Tues to this- our friends, who live between Whittier and Dillsboro, have had less than 5 inches total, all Summer long. Weather is surely a carpricious creature!
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Coming down hard now, hopefully we will get a good amount of rain afterall
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Quoting leftovers:
definitely alittle spin with ex fred moving west hunker down e. floridians


I don't see any spin but plenty of rain potential in North Florida with Fred-ex coming in from the East and the Trof heading in from the West...
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Quoting BGMom:


Hi! I'm reporting in from Marietta. We are so blessed and lucky that our house is on high ground. We are safe and dry. So sad to hear all that is going on around us.

I wouldn't be surprised if the conference in Rome is cancelled. Governor Perdue has declared us in a state of emergency. Schools are cancelled all over the place. They are telling everyone to stay home if it is possible. The roads that are open are packed with people trying to find alternate routes.


Thanks....It's a conference at one of the Universities and they have not cancelled yet (Conf starts tommorow)as of this morning...Glad to hear that you are OK.
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Quoting StormW:
Good afternoon!

I will be out of the office until this evening.

TROPICAL WEATHER SYSNOPSIS SEPTEMBER 22, 2009 ISSUED 12:20 P.M. EDT


good afternoon, and thanks!
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112. BGMom
Quoting weathermanwannabe:
Good Morning. My Wife is supposed to drive up 75 from Florida to Rome Georgia for a Conference tommorow. Does anyone between Atlanta and Rome know if flooding has affected driving on I-75 between Atl and Rome, and, how bad flooding is around Rome if any?

Most appreciated and thanks........... :)


Hi! I'm reporting in from Marietta. We are so blessed and lucky that our house is on high ground. We are safe and dry. So sad to hear all that is going on around us.

I wouldn't be surprised if the conference in Rome is cancelled. Governor Perdue has declared us in a state of emergency. Schools are cancelled all over the place. They are telling everyone to stay home if it is possible. The roads that are open are packed with people trying to find alternate routes.
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Quoting presslord:
wannabe...the downtown connector is badly flooded...she may not make it through town...


Thanks......I might tell her to route her trip to the North of ATL before getting on I-75.
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Quoting presslord:
I didn't know crickets had.......oh.....nevermind....


haha I wouldnt go there :P

good afternoon btw
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wannabe...the downtown connector is badly flooded...she may not make it through town...
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I didn't know crickets had.......oh.....nevermind....
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Hurricane George 09/22/1998

I was born the same day that David hurricane landfall over the Dominican Republic, I never though that one day I would see a big disaster on my town like never.

All The Dominicans did not know that a big hurricane was knocking the door, this was because the national office meteorological hid the real information and told to everybody that the storm went to the north, (for this reason many people were not prepared and many died).

When I awake,I hear some information by a tv program not official early in the morning....Quickly I did a wall in front of my house because I live 100 feet from a river (Via river). I was one of the few who had heard this infomation My house was the only one with a flood protection on the neighborhood.




At the 11:00 began the wind, rain and darkness; and all began to to be rare for 4 hours, at 03:00 we have 120 miles for hours of wind and flooding began. At 07:00 Pm, I was on my bed and hear a scream, we going to died, the river overflows!!, if we not leave the house, we are all dead and we took lot of struggle, because we did not want to leave the house and we went to a house under construction this was taken Like refuge.

Since 08:00 Pm to 11 Am I passed on the street, I feel the rain, the wind, the cool all trying to help anyone that needed help and I made all this without clothes, only with an underpants.

09-23-1998
At 03:00 Pm the river did a one big flooding in all the town, a lot people died, the flooding on all the country took many homes with families inside house, the agriculture was damaged total.

Tried to write as best I could........

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Good Morning. My Wife is supposed to drive up 75 from Florida to Rome Georgia for a Conference tommorow. Does anyone between Atlanta and Rome know if flooding has affected driving on I-75 between Atl and Rome, and, how bad flooding is around Rome if any?

Most appreciated and thanks........... :)
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that would explain the change in wind direction
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Quoting duajones78413:
Winds just changed to northerly here in Corpus Christi. Cloudy but doesnt really look like we will get much in the way of rain. Will see


It looks like there is an out flow boundary that just moved through from the north Link
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Winds just changed to northerly here in Corpus Christi. Cloudy but doesnt really look like we will get much in the way of rain. Will see
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Quoting GulfPilot:
Yesterday's torrential rain in GA was really something, but I had an interesting experience with it.

I live in Valdosta, in South Georgia. I left my house to pick up my son at daycare about 9 miles away and hit rain that was causing near zero visibility in its intensity. Street flooding was prevalent on the entire route. Once I picked up my son, we headed back to the house where I was surprised to note that not a single drop of rain had fallen! This was a tremendously localized event here in South GA. I had expected to find my yard flooded (as it does in all heavy rain here), but as I stated... not a drop. Wierd.


A really strange event happened to me about a few years back. Same zero visibility rain, I was driving back home on the highway and the most torrential downpour hit my car. I had to slow down to 20 mph on the highway! I had to put the hazards on as did others because I could barley see anything but the hazards of other cars. The rain continued as I got off but a few seconds later it stopped. Then I went home and as I got out of the car and about halfway to the house the rain came roaring in. I was nearly soaked from running half way from my car to the house.
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Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.