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Monday, September 21, 2009 - 3:37am

North Georgia Flooding Kills Eight, Brings Evacuations, Snarls Traffic

Updated: 5 years ago.
Flooding is widespread in metro Atlanta, as shown here near Sope Creek in Marietta. (photo courtesy Timothy J. / CC BY 2.0)

Click here to hear Rickey Bevington talk with WGPB's John Sepulvado about the situation in Trion.

Major flooding in north Georgia has resulted in the death of at least eight people, while in the northwest corner of the state, floods are so bad that evacuations are underway.

In metro Atlanta's Gwinnett County, emergency workers found a woman dead in her vehicle after it was swept off a road by flood waters. A man died in Douglas County west of Atlanta when his car was overtaken by a flash flood.

In Carroll County, in west Georgia, a 2-year-old boy was found dead in his family's mobile home after it was swept into a creek.

In northwest Georgia's Chattooga County, officials say crews are working to shore up a levee along the Chattooga River that is in danger of failing. The Georgia Emergency Management Agency tells GPB an evacuation of 300 people was underway in the city of Trion because of concerns over rising waters and a possible levee breach.

Chattooga's emergency management director Lamar Canada said the levee situation is "a grave situation for us... it's the first time it's happened in more than a decade."

Canada says water has crested over the levees in Chatooga County. And WGPB bureau chief John Sepulvado reports that homes, cars and businesses in Trion are feeling the effects of the flooding.

In northwest Georgia's Stephens County, officials have opened a shelter for residents amid concerns the area's water system has been affected by flooding.

Five school systems were closed Monday--in Paulding, Douglas, Carroll, Stephens, and Gwinnett counties. Douglas County school officials have now extended their district's closure through Wednesday.

And now school officials in Cobb County have decided to cancel classes Tuesday, but 12-month employees are to report to work if conditions are safe to drive.

More than a foot of rain has fallen in parts of north Georgia. State emergency management officials say rainfall amounts over the past 24-48 hours include 15 inches in Paulding and Douglas counties. Northwest Georgia's Walker County has been soaked by 10 inches.

The entire state has received steady rain for nearly a week. It’s quite the turnaround from only a year ago, when much of Georgia was mired in drought.

More rain is forecast for parts of Georgia through much of Tuesday.

In Atlanta, rush hour traffic was moving at a snail's pace. Flooding has blocked traffic on the Downtown Connector and major thoroughfares. Authorities are asking everyone to stay off the roads.

State transportation officials say they will not be able to check on any damage to roadways and bridges in Georgia until the rain stops falling. The DOT expects a lot of work ahead of them for later this week.

Click here to see the National Weather Service's radar of Georgia.

Contributors

Contributors: 
Rickey Bevington, Carl Zornes and John Sepulvado contributed to this story.

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