Heavy rains kill seven in Georgia

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

Share this Blog
5
+

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

Reader Comments

Comments will take a few seconds to appear.

Post Your Comments

Please sign in to post comments.

or Join

Not only will you be able to leave comments on this blog, but you'll also have the ability to upload and share your photos in our Wunder Photos section.

Display: 0, 50, 100, 200 Sort: Newest First - Order Posted

Viewing: 751 - 701

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18Blog Index

Evening all.

Look on this model at the end of the run. It shows a storm forming pretty far south then heading just east of the islands. Could this be legit? Or is it too far away?
Link
Member Since: August 15, 2008 Posts: 10 Comments: 3665
746. JLPR
Quoting iceman55:
1997 ???? noway


yep check it
xD
wikipedia
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting markymark1973:
I can't remember a year this boring in the Atlantic basin.


There have been several. 1982, in particular, was extremely boring.

Though it is worth noting that if another tropical cyclone does not develop by the end of this month, this will be the quietest September since 1997.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
742. JLPR
Quoting markymark1973:
I can't remember a year this boring in the Atlantic basin.


97 had one more named storm than this season, and casually it was the same list of names xD
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
I can't remember a year this boring in the Atlantic basin.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting iceman55:
Eastern Pacific Basin is dead and Atlantic Basin Indian Ocean wow this so crazy



Link


here gfs 00z


???

What about TD17-E/TS Nora?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting markymark1973:
^ That sure is a small cane in that pic XD


But alas, it's one of the more notable ones.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
^ That sure is a small cane in that pic XD
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting btwntx08:
mm1973 is a troll disagrees with anything


Somehow I doubt trolls would begin their sentence with "IMO".
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting markymark1973:
IMO this season is done. It doesn't matter if the MJO comes back strong if the westerlies and TUTT are going to keep things in check. I think the US will not get hit by 1 hurricane this season and 2009 will be one of the most least active on record.


While we may see an additional storm or two, I strongly agree.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
726. JLPR
I definitely don't expect anything like this xD
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting markymark1973:
IMO this season is done. It doesn't matter if the MJO comes back strong if the westerlies and TUTT are going to keep things in check. I think the US will not get hit by 1 hurricane this season and 2009 will be one of the most least active on record.



yup well said
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
IMO this season is done. It doesn't matter if the MJO comes back strong if the westerlies and TUTT are going to keep things in check. I think the US will not get hit by 1 hurricane this season and 2009 will be one of the most least active on record.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
722. JLPR
Quoting iceman55:



CRAZY


below average xD
Lets see if something forms in October
or this one could go below normal
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Hi Iceman - not even any good pics for you to post today.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
The blog has been taken over by little blinking characters!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
715. JRRP
editado


out!!

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
[Several models] show something in the BOC in about a week. Several are in agreement. If you believe the MJO models, if we're going to see ANYTHING in October, it's going to be in the GOM or Caribbean.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
---
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting iceman55:
Summer Ends - Has the 2009 Season Ended?



Autumn arrives across the Northern Hemisphere at 4:18PM CDT today, signaling a transition from the hot, steamy days of summer to the arrival of cold fronts across the Gulf of Mexico. In fact, the first such cold front will reach the northern Gulf today. It’s weak, but it’s a sign of things to come. In another week or two, cold fronts will begin moving out across the Gulf of Mexico and off the Southeast U.S. Coast weekly. With each passing cold front, wind shear and dry air will spill out across the Gulf of Mexico and Southwest Atlantic, diminishing the chances of tropical development in the region and gradually bringing the 2009 hurricane season to an end.

To say that the 2009 hurricane season has been quiet would be an understatement. Except for a brief burst of activity in late August and early September, the Atlantic Basin has been quite a hostile environment for tropical cyclones. Only Bill and Fred would be able to find a small area of favorable conditions to allow each to become a hurricane. The other four named storms, Ana, Claudette, Danny and Erika, would struggle as weak, sheared tropical storms. Both hurricanes reached major hurricane intensity, but only Bill made landfall in a much-weakened state over eastern Newfoundland.
Is the 2009 season over? I think it’s a little too early to make such a statement. Last year, major hurricanes Omar and Paloma developed in the Caribbean Sea in October and November. But the Caribbean has been dominated by high wind shear and sinking air since June, and there’s no sign that the environment is changing as of late September. There may be periods over the next month when wind shear will relax enough across the Gulf of Mexico or the Southwest Atlantic east of the Bahamas to allow for something to develop. The steering currents of late September through October typically would take late-season developments either toward the northeast Gulf (Florida), the East U.S. Coast, or the northern Caribbean.

I think that another 1 or 2 named storms will probably develop over the next 3-4 weeks and that will be it for 2009. The 2009 hurricane season will be one of those seasons that no one remembers, and that’s not a bad thing.

Amen.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Member Since: Posts: Comments:


ok guys, im out, have a goodnight
Member Since: Posts: Comments:


ok guys, im out, have a goodnight
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Oh, and, be safe. Lots of water out there.

FLASH FLOOD WARNING RALEIGH NC - KRAH 1143 PM EDT TUE SEP 22 2009
FLASH FLOOD WARNING HUNTSVILLE AL - KHUN 1035 PM CDT TUE SEP 22 2009
FLASH FLOOD WARNING LOUISVILLE KY - KLMK 920 PM CDT TUE SEP 22 2009
FLASH FLOOD WARNING NEW ORLEANS LA - KLIX 844 PM CDT TUE SEP 22 2009
FLASH FLOOD WARNING NASHVILLE TN - KOHX 828 PM CDT TUE SEP 22 2009
FLASH FLOOD WARNING MEMPHIS TN - KMEG 817 PM CDT TUE SEP 22 2009
FLASH FLOOD WARNING MEMPHIS TN - KMEG 753 PM CDT TUE SEP 22 2009
FLASH FLOOD WARNING NASHVILLE TN - KOHX 755 PM CDT TUE SEP 22 2009
FLASH FLOOD WARNING RALEIGH NC - KRAH 842 PM EDT TUE SEP 22 2009
FLASH FLOOD WARNING JACKSON MS - KJAN 656 PM CDT TUE SEP 22 2009
FLASH FLOOD WARNING MEMPHIS TN - KMEG 643 PM CDT TUE SEP 22 2009
FLASH FLOOD WARNING BROWNSVILLE TX - KBRO 631 PM CDT TUE SEP 22 2009
FLASH FLOOD WARNING BIRMINGHAM AL - KBMX 614 PM CDT TUE SEP 22 2009
FLASH FLOOD WARNING MEMPHIS TN - KMEG 545 PM CDT TUE SEP 22 2009
Member Since: August 22, 2008 Posts: 12 Comments: 6010
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Orcasystems:


I have one I really want to use.. but its not worth the 24 it would garner :)


LMAO. And on that note I'm off.

Peace out
Member Since: August 22, 2008 Posts: 12 Comments: 6010

Viewing: 751 - 701

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18Blog Index

Top of Page

About

Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.

Local Weather

Overcast
66 °F
Overcast