LIVE WEATHER-TRAFFIC: South metro counties under flash flood warning

ATLANTA FORECAST 

Thursday: High: 77

Thursday night: Low: 69

Friday: High: 80

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

[11:03 p.m.]: A tree fell on a MARTA bus in southwest Atlanta on Empire Boulevard due to weather, Channel 2 Action News reported. No one was injured in the incident.

A tree was knocked down by weather onto a MARTA bus Thursday.
Photo: Channel 2 Action News

[9:15 p.m.]: A flash flood warning has been issued for Butts, Lamar and Upson counties until 3 a.m. Friday by the NWS. Henry, Pike and Spalding counties had their flash flood warnings extended until 3 a.m. too.

[8:28 p.m.]: A downed tree on the I-75 exit ramp to Forest Parkway in Clayton County has been cleared, the WSB 24-hour Traffic Center reported.

 

[7:54 p.m.]: A flash flood warning has been issued for Clayton, DeKalb and Henry counties until 1:45 a.m. Friday by the NWS. Fayette and Fulton counties have had their flash flood warnings extended until 1:45 a.m. as well.

 

[6:10 p.m.]: A flash flood warning has been issued for Fulton, Fayette, Coweta, Meriwether, Pike and Spalding counties until midnight by the National Weather Service.

 

[6:08 p.m.]: Fire and smoke have been cleared from the northbound track at the North Avenue station, MARTA tweeted. Normal service is beginning to resume.

 

[5:59 p.m.]: All severe thunderstorm warnings in North Georgia have expired after a storm capable of producing a tornado moved through a few east metro Atlanta counties. A flash flood warning is still active for Floyd County until 10:30 p.m., and all of North Georgia remains under a flash flood watch until Friday morning.

 

[5:14 p.m.]: The tornado warnings for Butts, Jasper and Putnam counties have expired, the NWS reported. The severe thunderstorm warning for Putnam and Morgan counties continues until 5:45 p.m.

[5:10 p.m.]: MARTA’s North and South lines are extensively delayed due to a small track fire, according to a tweet. Single-tracking is in effect.

 

[5 p.m.]: The tornado warning for Putnam County has expired, the NWS reported. Jasper, Butts and Newton counties remain under a tornado warning until 5:15 p.m.

[4:58 p.m.]: A severe thunderstorm warning has been issued for Jasper, Morgan and Putnam counties until 5:30 p.m., the NWS said.

[4:46 p.m.]: A tornado warning for Monroe County has expired, the NWS said. Tornado warnings continue until 5 p.m. for Putnam County and until 5:15 p.m. for Butts, Jasper and Newton counties.

[4:44 p.m.]: Live power wires and trees are down on Turner Road at Lake Jodeco, the Clayton County Sheriff’s Office said. 

 

[4:43 p.m.] A MARTA track issue at the North Avenue station is causing delays on the North/South line.

 

[4:42 p.m.]: A tornado warning has been extended for Butts and Jasper counties and issued for Newton County until 5:15 p.m., the NWS said.

 

[4:40 p.m.]: The flash flood warning for Floyd County has been extended until 10:30 p.m., according to the NWS.

 

[4:31 p.m.]: The tornado warning for Jones County has expired, the NWS said.

[4:27 p.m.]: The tornado warnings for Jasper and Putnam counties have been extended by the NWS until 5 p.m. 

 

[4:11 p.m.]: A new tornado warning have been issued for Butts, Monroe and Jasper counties until 4:45 p.m., the Weather Service reported. 

 

UPDATE [4:05 p.m.]: The National Weather Service issued a tornado warning for Jasper, Jones and Putnam counties until 4:30 p.m. Those counties are about 60 miles southeast of downtown Atlanta.

 

ORIGINAL STORY: All of North Georgia remains under a flash flood watch Thursday afternoon as rain continues to fall on already soggy soil.

The watch is in effect through Friday morning, according to the National Weather Service. 

 

In Floyd County, authorities are asking drivers to avoid the town of Cave Spring as flooding has closed several roads and threatened evacuations. Police have blocked U.S. 411 into the city.

Rising flood waters also caused Cave Spring Elementary to close early on its first day of school. It will remain closed Friday.

 

Coosa Middle School and Coosa High School students whose home addresses are in Cave Spring were also released from school at noon, the Rome News-Tribune reported

Up to 2 inches of rain have already fallen, prompting the Weather Service to issue a flash flood warning for Floyd. 

“We just have Red Cross on standby in the eventuality that they do have to evacuate (homes),” Floyd Emergency Management Director Tim Herrington told AJC.com.

Cave Spring is starting to see a break in the heavy rain, he said, but the Weather Service predicts an additional half-inch will fall before the day is over. 

 

“We’re hoping that the break that we get will allow some runoff,” he said.

 

All this rain could mean ponding on metro Atlanta roadways. Accidents aren’t too bad so far, with only a few incidents causing slight backups on the Downtown Connector, according to the WSB 24-hour Traffic Center.

A crash on the Connector near Courtland Street has been moved to the right shoulder, but delays linger, the Traffic Center reported.

 

“Keep those umbrellas handy,” Channel 2 Action News meteorologist Karen Minton said. “We’re not done with the rain just yet.”

Thursday should be just as wet as Wednesday, and most areas can expect another 1 to 2 inches of rain. Some places could see up to 3 inches, according to Channel 2.

 

If Wednesday was any indication, the rain could make a mess of the evening commute, especially now that thousands more metro Atlanta students are back in school.

Marietta, Buford and Forsyth County schools started back Thursday. Expect to take it slow around dismissal time when students start the soggy trek home.

 

Minton said a trough of tropical moisture from the Gulf of Mexico remains “open for business” and is the reason Georgia continues to get hammered with rain day after day this week.

“That tropical air just has us socked in, so more showers are with us as disturbances roll through today,” she said. “Some of that rain’s going to be heavy.”

 

It will be wet on and off through the day, but the strongest showers and storms will roll through Thursday evening and should continue overnight, according to Channel 2.

The rain and cloud cover are keeping temperatures low. Really low.

The predicted high for Thursday is a cool 79 degrees, which is more than 10 degrees below the average for this time of year, according to Channel 2. It’s currently 77.

“It feels more like April temperatures than it does the first part of August,” Minton said. 

As the storm patterns start to dissipate and move the rain west into Alabama, the temperature will begin to creep back into the upper 80s. The rain chances should do the opposite and drop to about 40 percent for the weekend.

All the rain this week has raised the Chattahoochee River’s E. coli levels to dangerous levels. So don’t enter the ’Hooch until the bacteria levels drop to safe amounts.

Photo: Channel 2 Action News

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