Homes and a campground in Pickens and Gilmer counties were being evacuated Wednesday after up to 10 inches of rain inundated the same area of the state hit by flooding less than a week ago.
Deep water blocked numerous roads across the region, and at least one state highway was blocked by a mudslide.
Flash flood warnings, issued just before 5:30 a.m. Wednesday, were in effect through late morning for Gilmer, Pickens and western Dawson counties.
Earlier warnings had been posted at 3:30 a.m. for eastern Dawson and southwestern Lumpkin counties, and a flash flood warning was issued for Gordon County at 7 a.m.
At 9:30 a.m., the National Weather Service said that as much as 8 inchs of rain had fallen in Gordon County. By 11 a.m., an estimated 10 inches of rain had fallen near Nelson in northern Cherokee County, the Weather Service reported.
At 9 a.m., flash flood warnings were issued for Forsyth, Dawson and eastern Cherokee counties, effective through 2:45 p.m.
In addition to the warnings, a flash flood watch posted through Thursday morning for 21 counties from Cherokee and Forsyth counties northward was extended just before noon to include all of metro Atlanta.
At 7:30 a.m., Pickens County authorities were evacuating homes along Wigington Lane at Burnt Mountain Road due to rising water, according to the Weather Service. Several roads in Pickens and Gilmer counties were blocked by high water and Ga. 136 in Pickens County was blocked by a mudslide near Burnt Mountain Road.
Pickens sheriff’s Lt. Kris Stancil said just before 9:30 a.m. that deputies that deputies were helping campers flee flood waters at the Talona Creek Campground in Talking Rock, and that a sink hole had developed on Jones Road near Hidden Creek Road.
Darla Huffman, who has lived in the Talking Rock community for eight years, was cut off from her home by flood waters deeper than she’s ever seen in the area.
“I went to the doctor’s office this morning, and when I tried to get home, I couldn’t,” she told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
“I’m supposed to catch a plane at 3:30 this afternoon and all my luggage is at home,” she said. “It probably would be cheaper to go out and buy all new clothes than it would be to rent a helicopter to fly me in there.”
Mike McElwee said Talona Creek, which was flooding the Talona campground, flooded very quickly Wednesday morning.
“You can walk across this thing most of the time and it would be not even up to your knees,” he said of the creek.”I’d say it’s about 12 feet up from where it usually is, and that’s in a couple of hours. It came up that fast.”
Channel 2 meteorologist Karen Minton said at 5:45 that there was “not much movement at all” with the storms, which developed during the early morning hours. As much as 6 inches of rain had fallen in some area, Minton said.
At 10:30 a.m., Weather Service radar showed the storms still sitting over the same area of north Georgia. A second area of thunderstorms that had developed across the south metro area was causing flight delays of up to 30 minutes at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, according to the Federal Aviation Administration.
Late Wednesday morning, a flash flood warning was posted for Coweta County after 2 to 4 inches of fell southwest of Atlanta.
Minton’s forecast for metro Atlanta calls for mostly cloudy skies and an 80 percent chance of rain Wednesday, with highs in the mid-80s.
Thursday through Sunday will be partly cloudy, with a 40 to 50 percent chance of afternoon thunderstorms and highs in the upper 80s.
Last Thursday, flash flooding damaged dozens of homes in Gilmer and Pickens counties, and forced authorities in boats to rescue several residents from the flood waters.
Staff writer John Spink contributed to this article.
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