The AJC covers the Atlanta flood of 2009

The AJC covers the Atlanta flood of 2009

After a weekend of heavy rain, the Atlanta area woke up on the morning of Monday, Sept. 21, to severe flooding, heavy destruction and death. The state told commuters to stay home.

The flood that hit the region cost 10 lives and untold millions of dollars.

The AJC covered the storms and resulting flooding, providing information, resources and shared stories to the area.

Beginning at noon on Monday, through the night and deep into Tuesday night, the AJC gave you constant updates as news broke quickly from all around the metro area.

Atlanta City Councilman Ceasar Mitchell is philosophical about the mammoth oak tree that fell through the roof of his house on Queen Street in West End early Saturday.

"Please, I need some help." The voice coming across the 911 phone line was strong with just a tinge of panic. Transcript of 911 call

Teenager Nick Osley and his grandmother, mom and two little brothers to drop a friend off Monday when they came upon a closed and flooded road in this northwest Georgia town, in the shadow of Lookout Mountain.

“He is gone! He is gone!,’” Craig Crawford recalled, weeping as he relived the moment when his 2-year-old son Preston Slade slipped from his arms and died in the flooding. “I’m just glad I got to tell him I loved him before he left. I just don’t know how I am going to live through it. It is going to be rough just not seeing his face everyday. It is just an awful feeling. I just feel worthless right now.”

Like clockwork, Donald Warlow, 55, left his Villa Rica home at 2:30 a.m. to go to work at Vistar, a vending distribution company some two hours away in Gwinnett County. Warlow had driven trucks for the company for 30 years. Warlow never made it home. Never made it out of Douglas County.

A muddy slip of paper skittered down Greystone Court on Thursday in Austell, someone’s discarded lottery ticket. It was not a winner.

Atlantans fear deadly tornadoes and hurricanes, but not too many worry about deadly rain. But deadly rain took nine lives last week, as swollen rivers and creeks washed away cars and houses.


Austell Mayor Joe Jerkins parked and walked up to Katherine and Terry Bennett, who stood outside the brick ranch house where they lived before the 500-year flood drove them out.


Georgia schools superintendent Kathy Cox tours flooded Clarkdale Elementary in Austell and then visits with students who are displaced from the school. Photos


Federal officials say they will soon begin sending money to people in 17 counties who lost homes and businesses to last week’s floods.


Six Flags over Georgia opened on Saturday after the flooding, just as it said it would, even though much of the park was under water


When the floodwaters roared through Canoe restaurant in Vinings on Monday evening, they wrenched a standing ice machine from the wall, hurtled a steel beer keg through the kitchen and sent a box marked “fresh seafood” into the top branches of a nearby tree.


Federal government maps predict in parcel-by-parcel detail where the water will travel when a megastorm hits. Those maps anticipated that I-20 would remain high and dry, when flooding actually closed the highway down. The projections envisioned nothing more than a big puddle in the Food Depot parking lot in Austell, but what developed around the store was more like a lake


Not everyone said "thank you" after being rescued from raging flood waters earlier this week. They couldn't. But the cats and dogs are surely grateful for the human heroics.


Wendy Siegel said she received a surprising note from her 14-year-old who logged on to Facebook to let her know water was leaking into his Cobb County public school and flooding the parking lot.


Usually this time of year, the Atlanta-based Weather Channel’s Jim Cantore is standing wind-whipped on the coast of the Gulf of Mexico or the Atlantic Ocean reporting on an incoming hurricane. Instead, he was in a canoe in Buckhead, pointing out a car up to its roof in the waters of Peachtree Creek.



Georgia Insurance Commissioner John Oxendine had some tips for homeowners suffering from flood damage.




The flood as it happened

The aftermath



Political Insider: Emergency center opened

Political Insider: Biden visits for flood briefing

Mike Luckovich cartoons: 1 | 2



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