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 Canekid98:
do u guys think a TC can form in the carribean with this dissturbance?


Anything is possible down there this time of year
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do u guys think a TC can form in the carribean with this dissturbance?
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Quoting TheCaneWhisperer:


Sure is. Could possibly be in trouble next year if the signals are correct.
Weather456 posted a great blog on the subject back in July for those interested.



Sorry, I meant to grab your NAO comment.
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Quoting StormW:
How's that for warmth?



Sure is. Could possibly be in trouble next year if the signals are correct.

Weather456 posted a great blog on the subject back in July for those interested.
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796. IKE
Quoting TomSal:
What does BOC represent? Thanks.


Bay Of Campeche.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37860
Quoting IKE:
Looks like the first significant cold-front will be heading into the SE USA Monday into Tuesday. As far as the tropical Atlantic, I don't see much. A low in the BOC in a few days, but it doesn't develop much. Looks all clear through the rest of this month....

6Z GFS at 144 hours.

What does BOC represent? Thanks.
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794. IKE
TROPICAL WEATHER OUTLOOK
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL
800 AM EDT WED SEP 23 2009

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

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

$$
FORECASTER BEVEN

Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37860
Back later
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Good Morning everyone. Very humid out this morning in Boca Raton, FL
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thanks boys
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Welcome back KOTG

BBL,

Met Office GloSea Model Performance for 2009
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
Good morning...
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Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
good day kman ya its a bubbling up over the island this morning i see


Good morning to you too.

Yeah, great light show outside now.
Let's see what happens if it sits in the area. I have seen depressions spin up quickly in the NW Caribbean but surface pressure is relatively high and now at 1011.8 mb
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one quick note all this excitement about cold frontscoming into the gulf in late sept and oct sometimes works out for the worst. john hope uused to always say that weak fronts going stationary over the warm gulf were many times a curse not a blessing. for the winter weather enthusiast on here remember this: oct 28 thru nov 3 1985 in the northern gulf hurricane juan, and a week before thanksgiving 1985 cat 2 kate lands in panama city . not picking, just think its a little irresponsible for people to lead others to the idea that tropical activivty for the conus is through because of early season fronts. have a nice day at work.
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good day kman ya its a bubbling up over the island this morning i see
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some disorganized convection building in this area sw of isle youth thats about it


nice area off east us west atlantic as well near 30 60

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Good morning

It's like a TS outside this morning. Lots of T & L, winds gusting between 24 and 30 MPH and almost an inch of rain since midnight.

Pressure is 1012 and rising rapidly so it would appear nothing imminent out there for the time being.
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778. IKE
Looks like the first significant cold-front will be heading into the SE USA Monday into Tuesday. As far as the tropical Atlantic, I don't see much. A low in the BOC in a few days, but it doesn't develop much. Looks all clear through the rest of this month....

6Z GFS at 144 hours.

Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37860
glad to be back
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776. IKE
Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
Good morning


Glad to see you back.

Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37860
Good morning
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Good Morning again, my blog is updated

Met Office GloSea Model Performance for 2009
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
773. IKE
CARIBBEAN SEA...
AS OF 0300 UTC...A WEAK SURFACE TROUGH EXTENDS ACROSS THE NW
CARIBBEAN FROM 23N85W TO 18N85W SUPPORTING A FEW ISOLATED
SHOWERS/THUNDERSTORMS FROM 19N-23N W OF 86W. SCATTERED
SHOWERS/THUNDERSTORMS ARE ACROSS CUBA N OF 19N BETWEEN 74W-84W.
ISOLATED SHOWERS/THUNDERSTORMS ARE S AND E OF THIS ACTIVITY FROM
16N-19N BETWEEN 75W-84W...AND N OF 16N BETWEEN 66W-72W AFFECTING
PUERTO RICO AND HISPANIOLA. THESE AREAS OF SHOWERS/THUNDERSTORMS
ARE SUPPORTED BY UPPER LEVEL DIFFLUENT FLOW BETWEEN THE UPPER
RIDGE OVER THE GULF OF MEXICO...
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37860
Quoting Weather456:


14 named storms when the average is 15.


Good Morning everyone.
Good morning. Anything going on in the Caribbean I should know about ? We are getting some good downpours and some serious lightning and thunder. Winds kicking up to 30 mph and pressure at 1008.
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Quoting KoritheMan:
We have Tropical Storm Nora.


14 named storms when the average is 15.


Good Morning everyone.
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
770. IKE
From Birmingham,AL....

"BEYOND SATURDAY...THE TRUE COLD FRONTAL BOUNDARY WILL MOVE THROUGH
AROUND MONDAY USHERING MUCH COOLER AND DRIER AIR TO THE SOUTHEAST
BY THE FIRST HALF OF THE WORK WEEK. SOME MODEL GUIDANCE EVEN
SUGGESTS THAT DEW POINTS WILL GO FROM THE 70S TO THE 40S BY NEXT
TUESDAY WITH LOW TEMPS BOTTOMING OUT IN THE 50S. NEEDLESS TO
SAY...CHANGES WILL BE WELCOME WITH THIS FRONT."

And Mobile,AL....

"CHANCES OF SHWRS/TSTMS
LOOK TO INCREASE BY THE WEEKEND. THIS OCCURS AS THE UPPER RIDGE
FLATTENS OVER THE GULF AND HIGH LEVEL W/SW FLOW BECOMES MORE ACTIVE
ONCE AGAIN OVER THE SOUTHERN STATES ON THE SOUTHEAST SIDE OF TROF
COMING IN FROM THE NORTHWEST. THE TROF SHOWS PROGRESSION INTO THE MID
ATLANTIC BY EARLY NEXT WEEK WHICH SIGNALS AND SUPPORTS A DOWNWARD
TREND IN POP...ALONG WITH THE PASSAGE OF A COLD FRONT INTO THE
NORTHERN GULF. IN THE WAKE OF THE FRONT...DAYTIME HIGHS BY TUESDAY
LOOK TO BE IN THE MID 80S ALONG W/LOWER HUMIDITY. ALTHOUGH MINS
SLIGHTLY LOWER THEN AS WELL...THE COOLEST MINS WHICH ARE MORE IN LINE
WITH CLIMATOLOGY LOOK TO OCCUR JUST BEYOND THE MEDIUM RANGE. JUST IN
TIME AS WE NEAR THE MONTH OF OCTOBER."

Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37860
We have Tropical Storm Nora.
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Flooding in North Georgia - Photo taken in Austell, Ga. located 25 miles Northwest of Atlanta, Ga.
View of Sweetwater Creek Subdivision.



... THE FLOOD WARNING CONTINUES FOR THE SWEETWATER CREEK NEAR AUSTELL... * UNTIL WEDNESDAY EVENING. * AT 4 PM TUESDAY THE STAGE WAS 29.6 FEET AND FALLING. * MAJOR FLOODING WILL CONTINUE. * FLOOD STAGE IS 10.0 FEET. * AT 20.0 FEET... RECORD FLOODING DATING TO JULY 8... 1916 OCCURS. DISASTROUS FLOODING OCCURS IN DOUGLAS AND COBB COUNTIES.)


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Quoting iceman55:
i hope not


Me too Ice. But I'd rather know about it ahead of time. That's the direction Humberto snuck up on us from. Lol. :)
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I'm out too. Everybody finally home so the dog stopped barking and its quiet now. Dumb little dog. If an ax murderer was coming thru the door she wouldn't make a sound. No, she barks at people who live here. Lol. Have a good night everyone. :)
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Hmmmm. Maybe they weren't crazy. And I couldn't find the low because it hasn't developed yet. Lol. Hot off the presses.

MARINE WEATHER DISCUSSION
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL
130 AM EDT WED SEP 23 2009

GULF OF MEXICO...
A COLD FRONT CURRENTLY OVER NW WATERS IS EXPECTED TO CONTINUE E
STALLING ALONG PSN FROM EXTREME W FL PANHANDLE TO 25N95W TO
CENTRAL BAY OF CAMPECHE LATE WED. AS THE FRONT MEANDERS OVER THE
N AND W PORTIONS ITS POSSIBLE A FRONTAL WAVE LOW MAY DEVELOP
ALONG THE BOUNDARY NEAR 28N WED NIGHT OR THU MORNING.
NLY WINDS
W OF FRONT WERE IN 15-20 KT RANGE TUE BUT HAVE DIMINISHED TO
10-15 KT ATTM. ALTHOUGH WEAK...AN ELY WAVE IS MOVING THROUGH THE
YUCATAN CHANNEL ATTM...AND SHOULD MERGE WITH WHATEVER REMAINS OF
THE SOUTHERN SEGMENT OF THE STALLED FRONT FRI NIGHT AND SAT...
WITH THE TROUGH CONTINUING W THROUGH THE BAY OF CAMPECHE ON SUN.


Could get interesting in the gulf the next week or so.
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758. JLPR
well im off to bed
no need to wait till blackout is over since there is nothing trying to form =P

goodnight :)
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NWS Extended Forecast for SE Louisiana & South MS.



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NWS New Orleans Radar
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Thanks Ice. Saw this in my local NWS earlier. but never found the low on radar or sat.

POPS WILL BE
HIGHEST TONIGHT AND TOMORROW AS A SFC AREA OF LOW PRESSURE
DEVELOPING OFF THE LOWER TX COAST MOVES NEWD ACROSS THE AREA

and this...


MARINE...OFFSHORE FLOW WILL DEVELOP OVER MOST OF THE COASTAL
WATERS BY TOMORROW AS THE FRONT CONTINUES SLOWLY EWD. FAR ERN
WATERS MAY REMAIN IN MORE SRLY FLOW AS THE FRONT STALLS...ALTHOUGH
FOR NOW HAVE GONE WITH NRLY WINDS ALL WATERS. NERLY TO ERLY FLOW
WILL LINGER INTO THE WEEKEND AS LOW PRESSURE SITS OVER THE BAY OF
CAMPECHE. ONSHORE FLOW WILL RETURN TO THE WATERS BY SUNDAY AS HIGH
PRESSURE RETURNS TO THE ERN GULF. NO FLAGS ARE ANTICIPATED
THROUGH THE PERIOD.

Here's where CMC puts the BOC low...

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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.

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