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 WeatherStudent:


Really? You think so? Well, I am.
Quoting tornadodude:


Gitmo

LMFAO!!!!! It doesnt matter he is still from Broward
Member Since: Posts: Comments:

2AOI in bottom right
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Ike, where is that gold ole Fall weather you promised? Its COOKING here in the Peninsula.
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.
Member Since: June 28, 2006 Posts: 25 Comments: 8360
Quoting gator23:
I am sorry I upset my fellow bloggers. Please accept my humblest apologies.


It's alright, just try to be a little considerate, you know? thanks, no hard feelings
Member Since: June 28, 2006 Posts: 25 Comments: 8360
In what part of Cuba were you born?
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I am sorry I upset my fellow bloggers. Please accept my humblest apologies.
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Quoting gator23:

fair enough.


thank you sir
Member Since: June 28, 2006 Posts: 25 Comments: 8360
Quoting GeoffreyWPB:
Matt, it was uncalled for and why did you quote it? Doesn't make sense.


fixed, thanks
Member Since: June 28, 2006 Posts: 25 Comments: 8360
Quoting tornadodude:


that is considered a personal attack, please try to be a little nicer about it, maybe use personal messages instead? thanks

fair enough.
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Quoting gator23:



I am the most unreligious man you have ever met, and even I think that remark was uncalled for, you just joined him.
Member Since: October 1, 2007 Posts: 81 Comments: 26511
yea...but we aren't expressing our opinion...
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Quoting gator23:

???


that is considered a personal attack, please try to be a little nicer about it, maybe use personal messages instead? thanks
Member Since: June 28, 2006 Posts: 25 Comments: 8360
Quoting iceman55:
gator23 That's Not Nice

your entitled to your opinion and so am i.
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Matt, it was uncalled for and why did you quote it? Doesn't make sense.
Member Since: September 10, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 11323
Quoting tornadodude:


ok, that was a little uncalled for

???
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Admin gonna be busy tonite
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ok, that was a little uncalled for
Member Since: June 28, 2006 Posts: 25 Comments: 8360
Quoting zebralove:
Is all that convection blowing up over the gulf headed up toward atlanta too? after all the rain and flooding they have already had that could be bad.... good timeing for us we just moved away from the atlanta area, although may be bad for our stuff in storage up there. Anyone know where that mess is heading?

no.
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Is all that convection blowing up over the gulf headed up toward atlanta too? after all the rain and flooding they have already had that could be bad.... good timeing for us we just moved away from the atlanta area, although may be bad for our stuff in storage up there. Anyone know where that mess is heading?
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Quoting WeatherStudent:
Que bola mi gente???

1.Your not Cuban
2.Your from Broward which makes you ineligible to say this
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Well it is almost three months till X-Mas...Funny to hear Yukon Cornelius so soon!
Member Since: September 10, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 11323
hey ice
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Watcher we are watching weather in here .... please either politly join the weather related topics or find yourself a more appropriate blog please.
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Quoting iceman55:




Hey All!


hey iceman
Member Since: June 28, 2006 Posts: 25 Comments: 8360
Quoting Patrap:

nuthin'
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Australian Government Bureau of Meteorology
NSW

Top Priority for Immediate Broadcast
NSW and ACT SEVERE WEATHER WARNING
Widespread Damaging Winds
For people in the Metropolitan, Illawarra, Hunter, South Coast , Central
Tablelands, Southern Tablelands, South West Slopes, Central West Slopes , North
West Slopes, Northern Tablelands, Mid North Coast [higher parts and south], ACT
The warning is cancelled for the remaining districts.


Issued at 11:10 am on Wednesday 23 September 2009

Synoptic Situation: 9:00 am EST Wednesday
A strong cold front has reached Tweed Heads with a low pressure system deepening
in the Tasman Sea off the Far South Coast. Strong to gale force winds and
widespread dust are behind this front
.


Gale force westerly with winds averaging over 65 km/h and gusts in excess of 100
km/h have contracted to the eastern half of the state. They are most likely
on the Hunter, Metropolitan, Illawarra, South Coast and adjacent ranges.
Widespread raised dust is continuing over a large part of the state,
particularly in the northeast where it is expected to decrease only slowly.

Winds are expected to ease gradually from late afternoon through this evening.

Winds gusts between 90 km/h and 100 km/h were reported this morning at
Williamtown, Nobby's Head, Murrurundi AWS, Mt Boyce, Wollongong, Nowra and Gabo
Island. Mean wind speeds in excess of 65km/hr have also been recorded at
Kurnell. Visibility less than 1000 metres in raised dust was recorded over the
northeastern half of the state

This is an update of the warning issued at 4:50 am on Tuesday
Emergency services advise you to keep clear of fallen power lines, stay indoors
away from windows and keep children indoors.
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Quoting will40:


Yea i think i seen that rock lol. if the rock throws a shadow it is sunny. if rock is wet it is rainin.


I think that rock hit him in the head a few times too many
Member Since: June 28, 2006 Posts: 25 Comments: 8360
Quoting AussieStorm:

I would hate to sit in evac traffic

me too but i was talking about regular good morning lets go to work traffic like this
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Quoting AussieStorm:

Yeah i would believe that, I remember he said he didn't use computers to do his forecasts, and his weather rock.


Yea i think i seen that rock lol. if the rock throws a shadow it is sunny. if rock is wet it is rainin.
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506. IKE
Quoting Dakster:


AMEN IKE... You are preaching to the choir, reverend Ike...


LOL.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
Quoting Dakster:
Aussie"Dust"Storm - I feel for you. I hate it when the smoke and burning embers attack in Florida, I can only imagine that amount of dust!

BTW - I have to agree, looking at the traffic cams if that is heavy traffic I need to move to Australia... We have more traffic at 3am then that.

I actually think a lot of people have stayed home due to the dust storm.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Aussie"Dust"Storm - I feel for you. I hate it when the smoke and burning embers attack in Florida, I can only imagine that amount of dust!

BTW - I have to agree, looking at the traffic cams if that is heavy traffic I need to move to Australia... We have more traffic at 3am then that.
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Quoting will40:


I think i saw Stormtop out there in a cropduster taking readings

Yeah i would believe that, I remember he said he didn't use computers to do his forecasts, and his weather rock.
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Quoting Hurricane009:
How can you just say Hi then leave the chat???


just stopped by lol
Member Since: June 28, 2006 Posts: 25 Comments: 8360
Quoting IKE:


Where do you live?




I'm ready for a change. It starts about March....7 months of it....so far.



AMEN IKE... You are preaching to the choir, reverend Ike...
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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.