Atlanta weather | Roads could take days to repair

Photographer John Spink and staff writer Mike Morris contributed to this report.

Heavy rains damaged a dam and forced some people out of their homes Thursday. Others couldn’t leave at all as water swallowed up a road in one neighborhood.

As the effects of flooding lingered, more rain was in the forecast. Areas already damaged by heavy rains could take several days to repair, officials in two counties said Thursday.

In Cherokee County, a makeshift, gravel road was put in place to allow residents of 26 homes in the Hickory Glenn subdivision a way to leave and return, according to Tim Cavender, fire department spokesman. The temporary road was necessary after ground underneath a portion of Stoney Creek Road washed away Wednesday night, making the road too dangerous for vehicles.

The county put an emergency plan in place in the event that emergency vehicles needed to respond to the neighborhood, Cavender said.

James Tongue, who lives in the affected part of the subdivision, said this was the third time the only way to and from his house had washed away, the last time happening about three years ago.

“We drove through here last night around 7:30 and we saw a little bit of deterioration here, but my comment was it’s not as bad as the last time,” Tongue said Thursday.

Tongue’s neighbors, Lance and Penney Davis, said a co-worker was meeting them on the other side of the damaged stretch of road to take them to work because, “we’ve got to be there.”

In north Fulton County, about 100 residents of The Falls at Sandy Springs apartment complex were temporarily evacuated as officials worked to stabilize a dam on a small pond in the complex, which is in the 5500 block of Roswell Road just inside I-285.

“The overnight storm damaged the dam, also causing a gas leak,” said Sharon Kraun, communications director for Sandy Springs.

Authorities worked Thursday to pump water out of the quarter-acre pond to take the pressure off the dam and release this water downstream, the city’s Assistant fire Chief Mark Duke told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. A second apartment complex downstream, The Mosaic at Sandy Springs, was put on notice and was under a voluntary evacuation because if the breached dam were to break, ground-level apartments were in danger of flooding, Duke said.

Residents were allowed to return home late Thursday, but the threat lingered for additional rainfall. The Red Cross, which provided shelter and meals for four families during the day, planned to remain in “standby” mode overnight in case of additional flooding, a spokeswoman said.

“As of 8 p.m., the four pumps at work have taken the water line down more than four and a half feet,” Kraun said in an emailed statement Thursday night. “The four pumps are expected to continue at work for the next few hours.”

Crews were expected to remain at the dam overnight, Kraun said. One lane of Roswell Road will be closed for the Friday morning commute, she said.

Also in Sandy Springs, Lake Forrest Drive between Lake Summit and Chevaux Court will be closed at least through Sunday, the city’s police department said. Rains have caused rock fall and slope hazards in the area, and signs are in place to detour drivers.

Rainfall totals Wednesday night included a record for the date of 4.14 inches at the airport, 4.25 inches in Sharpsburg, 3.58 inches in Chamblee and 2.25 inches in Peachtree City, according to the National Weather Service.

There is a 40 percent chance of rain Friday, when temperatures will again reach the lower to middle 80s with partly cloudy skies, according to Channel 2 Action News meteorologist Brad Nitz. The chance of rain drops to 20 percent for Saturday, Nitz said.