GILMER COUNTY, Ga. – Stranded cars, road washouts, mudslides, and many other dangers have already been reported to Gilmer County Public Safety late tonight amid continued flooding, March 25, 2021, as they continue planning and responding to the issues present in the night.
Officials are calling for citizens to remain indoors tonight with flashlights ready as any homes have already lost power. They are suggesting people charge your cell phones immediately in case of these situations.
Gilmer County Schools have already issued a delay to school starting tomorrow, Friday, March 26, 2021. According to the school system, “Storms overnight are expected to cause additional downed trees, power outages, and flooding.”
In the interest of safety, the schools have instituted a 2-hour-delay as of now. The statement said they will send out a text-blast to parents in the morning.
With the continuing rain forecasted well into the early hours of Friday, Gilmer County Public Safety released a statement on the river in Ellijay saying, “The United States Geological Survey is predicting the Coosawattee River to crest at 14.7′ around 7:00AM. That’s nearly 4′ above major flood level – and extremely…extremely dangerous. We cannot stress enough that no one should be driving through ANY flooded area. There are already hidden washouts, mudslides, stranded cars, roads and trees under water, and other dangers we do not even know of as yet.
Please, please stay at home Friday morning for a few hours. We will keep you informed about the conditions in the county as they change.”
Along with their statement comes reports of several places already under water or expected to be by morning including the Pilgrims’ Pride parking lot. The American Legion building is already flooded under several feet of water as is the Georgia Power Substation and Harold Hefner River Park.
Public Safety has also reported that State Highway 52 will be closing at 15 feet of flooding.
With plans in place for evacuations and recovery, Public Safety is working through the current storm alongside GEMA, the National Weather Service in Peachtree City, Georgia, and local authorities.
A Tornado Watch has also been issued until 2 a.m.
According to the National Weather Service, “Expect minor damage to tree limbs and blowing around of light…unsecured objects. Heavy rain may cause temporary street flooding especially in poor drainage areas.”
Several people have already reported driveways washing out, culverts displacing, and roads submerged and uncrossable. Public Safety is responding and should be contacted in cases of emergency.
“Thunderstorms and heavy rain are likely over portions of north and central Georgia on Saturday and Sunday, with a few strong to severe storms possible each day. Localized flash flooding is also possible across far north Georgia where the heaviest rain occurs.
There is also a chance of thunderstorms across portions of north and central Georgia on Wednesday and Wednesday night.”
BLAIRSVILLE, Ga – As tropical storm Zeta moves through the area, heavy rains have caused Nottely River to crest out of its banks and widespread power outages.
Union County received approximately 5 inches of rain and 100 trees fell as a result of tropical storm Zeta. Three water rescues took place, but no injuries. Also, 8,000 homes are without power.
Crossing Creek RV park has flooded at the Old Blue Ridge Hwy.
Pappy’s off Hwy 129 and right on the Nottely River is underwater and several homes, in the same area, have water up-to their porches. Many of these homes are on stilts in case of the Nottely River flooding. The Pigs Gone Amuk mini-golf course across from Jim’s Smokin’ Que is completely submerged.
Granddaddy Mimm’s Distillery posted the following on its Facebook page: “Due to the overwhelming flooding at the distillery we will be closed today. We may need to call on our community to help fill sandbags. It’s getting very close to coming in the building. Thank you for your continued support!!!”
Some individuals were preparing to kayak over to some of the businesses at Pappy’s when Fetch Your News left the area.
Butternut Creek in Meeks Park is back within its banks.
Reports are also coming in that in areas the Nottely River has reached the porches of homes built close to the river.
The UGA Extension Office fields were also submerged.
At 11 a.m., Sole Commissioner Lamar Paris issued a storm weather update:
“We have had nearly 5 inches of rain Wednesday night and Thursday morning. We have lots of creeks out of banks. We have had 3 water rescues but no injuries. Road Dept has about 100 trees down they have been working on all over the county. We have about 8000 households currently out of power. We are aware of two of homes damaged from trees. No reports of injuries. Thanks to all Union County Emergency Services personnel for your hard work which will probably continue all day and into the night. A special thanks also to Blueridge Mountain EMC and all water departments.”
At 8 a.m., the Blue Ridge Mountain EMC (BRMEMC) “has recorded over 150 outages affecting over 15,000 members across most of our system.” More power outages are expected as tropical storm Zeta continues to pass through. BRMEMC crews are out and working to quickly restore power. However, they do ask for patience.
The tropical storm warning is in effect across north Georgia and portions of west central Georgia. The National Weather Service released at 6:45 a.m. that the threat of heavy rain and flash flooding is diminishing, but flooding of minor river, lakes, and streams is still possible. Also, “maximum sustained winds of 25 to 35 mph and gusts up to 60 mph are possible, which will bring down trees and powerlines.”
Citizens are asked to keep their cellphones charged, remain calm, and find a safe shelter.
For assistance with power, internet, or public safety, contact one of the following:
- Blue Ridge Mountain EMC: 706-379-3121
- Windstream: 611 or 1-800-481-3407
- Union County Road Dept: 706-439-6062
- GA DOT: 706-781-3957
- State Road Conditions: 511
- 911 Center Non-Emergency: 706-439-6038
This information is from the National Weather Service. To see the full NWS Radar Image for Georgia please follow the link.
The remnants of Tropical Storm Cindy will push east through the weekend. Expect the moisture associated with TS Cindy to interact with a boundary that will move south across the region through Saturday night. Given the already saturated soils and plentiful moisture expected with this front, we may see more flooding issues, especially across north GA.
Over the past 24 hours, we have observed 1-3 inches of rainfall, mainly north of I-20. This will be the main area of concern in terms of flooding potential.
Flash Flood Watch is in effect across north GA (along and north of I-20).
From 2 PM this afternoon through 8 PM Saturday evening.
An additional 1-2 inches with locally higher amounts is possible, potentially within the metro Atlanta area and points north and west. This may lead to flooding in low lying and flood prone areas, especially in urban areas and along Interstate 20. In addition, creeks, streams and rivers may overflow their banks.
Georgia Governor Nathan Deal has expanded the state of emergency to include Gordon, Macon, Towns, Troup, and Wilkes Counties. Deal also extended the emergency declaration, issued last week for Fannin, Gilmer and Pickens Counties, to Jan. 7, 2016. State agencies will continue coordinating with local authorities to provide assistance to these communities.
Governor of Georgia Nathan Deal declared a State of Emergency for Gilmer, Pickens, and Fannin Counties in December 2015 due to the flooding on Christmas Eve.
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Heavy rains and thunderstorms throughout the night caused flooding in multiple areas in North Georgia. Rains and thunderstorms were steady throughout the night and into the morning with another round expected later today, Christmas Eve 2015.
Reports and photos coming in show areas in Fannin, Gilmer, and Pickens Counties where flood waters are rising. FYN has reports of roads covered in water, bridges closed or out, and other areas under water.
Authorities warn citizens to use caution and do not enter areas where you cannot tell how deep the water may be. We will bring additional information as received.