WEATHER-TRAFFIC UPDATE: Evening commute plagued by ponding, ongoing flood warnings

ATLANTA FORECAST

Tuesday: High: 48

Tuesday night: Low: 40

Wednesday: High: 51

» For a detailed forecast, visit The Atlanta Journal-Constitution weather page.

Tuesday’s evening commute got off to a wet and messy start as heavy rain continues to dump on the northern metro area.

All the while, a flood warning continues that includes parts of DeKalb, Fulton and Gwinnett counties, according to the National Weather Service. Those warnings last until further notice. A flood warning was also issued for Forsyth County near Big Creek until around 7:35 a.m. Wednesday.

“Doppler radar indicated thunderstorms producing heavy rain which will cause flooding,” the National Weather Service said in a statement. “Up to two inches of rain have already fallen. Additional rainfall amounts of one to two inches are possible in the warned area.”

The rain has already claimed some victims on the roads, including a hydroplane wreck in Marietta. 

All lanes of Barrett Parkway west of Burnt Hickory Road have been closed because of a hydroplaning wreck, according to Marietta police. A driver and passenger were taken to a hospital in serious condition, and it’s unclear when the road will reopen.

MORE: Cobb County road blocked, 2 injured after car hydroplanes

 

Two right lanes of Ga. 400 South near Mansell Road are blocked by a crash in North Fulton, according to the WSB 24-hour Traffic Center.

 

In DeKalb County, two left lanes of the Perimeter’s outer loop are blocked at I-20 because of a wreck, the Traffic Center reported. 

 

Traffic across metro Atlanta “is in the pits this evening,” according to the Traffic Center. The increased volume as the evening commute ramps up is unlikely to free up the roads. Reported ponding on several roads isn’t helping matters.

 

Several northwest Georgia counties are under a flood watch since 7 a.m. Tuesday morning, and the watch was expanded into Cherokee, Paulding and multiple other counties in the afternoon. The watch, originally set to expire Friday morning, was extended until Saturday morning.

“Soil conditions remain very saturated and river levels remain high across the area,” the Weather Service said in an advisory. “With 2 to 6 inches of additional precipitation expected across the area, this will produce significant runoff and flooding of creeks and rivers.”

A flood warning is issued when flooding is imminent or occurring. A flood watch is issued when conditions are favorable for flooding. It does not mean flooding will occur, but it is possible.

Rabun County will also be under a winter weather advisory from 6 p.m. Tuesday to 4 p.m. Wednesday, according to the National Weather Service. Channel 2 Action News chief meteorologist Glenn Burns said the county could see large amounts of frozen rain, making it dangerous on the roads.

 

In addition to threat of flooding, there has been “a tremendous amount” of lightning — more than 200 lightning strikes after 2 p.m., Channel 2 meteorologist Brad Nitz said.

One of those lightning bolts hit a power pole in the 1400 block of Hardee Street near the intersection of Mayson Avenue, setting a house on fire, according to Atlanta Fire Rescue. A man inside the home was able to escape without injury, and the fire has since been extinguished.

MORE: Lightning sparked Atlanta house fire, official says

Lightning was reported along the Southside, stretching from DeKalb County to southwest Fulton, as well as Clayton, Fayette and Carroll counties. Pea-sized hail was also spotted in South Fulton at 1 p.m. 

Temperatures downtown are in the low 40s. Cooling is expected throughout the day, Nitz said, with Atlanta falling through the 40s this afternoon.

 

Conditions do not look favorable for an ongoing repair project in Gwinnett County. Early Tuesday morning, a water main break caused a large section of Indian Trail Road to collapse, shutting down the road between Beaver Ruin Road and I-85 and closing the I-85 South ramp at that exit. 

As a result, Gwinnett County transit is not able to service the Park & Ride routes 102 and 110 from the Indian Trail commuter lot.

 

Indian Trail Road remains closed as crews work to remove a downed traffic signal and fill in the hole. Paving is contingent on weather conditions, according to Norcross police. Paving crews can work in the rain as long as temperatures do not fall much below 50 degrees. The repairs aren’t expected to be completed until Wednesday morning at the earliest, according to the Gwinnett County Department of Water Services.

RELATED: Busy Gwinnett artery blocked after water main break causes massive hole

The WSB 24-hour Traffic Center suggests drivers take Beaver Ruin Road, Jimmy Carter Boulevard or Pleasantdale Road as alternate routes. 

All the rain may bring some relief to allergy sufferers. Atlanta hit its first 1,000-plus pollen count of 2019 on Tuesday. There were 1,125 particles of pollen per cubic meter of air recorded in the past 24 hours, according to Channel 2. Atlanta did not reach four-digit pollen counts until March 25 last year. 

 

Along with the rain and the lower temps, North Georgia will also be dealing with wind. Wind speeds of 10 to 20 mph are expected Tuesday, which means wind chill will be a factor, according to Channel 2. It feels like it’s only 32 degrees outside.

Temps should increase to 50 degrees by Wednesday, and Atlanta could get into the upper 60s by the end of the week, according to the latest forecast. But the rain sticks around.

» For updated traffic information, listen to News 95.5 and AM 750 WSB and follow @ajcwsbtraffic on Twitter. 

» Download The Atlanta Journal-Constitution app for weather alerts on-the-go.

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