Five inches of rain fell during Thursday’s storms

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rainfall

HIAWASSEE, Ga – Towns County rainfall estimates for Thursday, March 25 are between four and five inches following storms that lasted well into the night.

According to the USGS station at the Hiwassee River at Riverside Drive, the rain gauge recorded 5.67 inches over a 24 hour period. Union County recorded 5.13 inches and Rabun recorded 8.36 inches.

Reports of creeks rising are coming in. The Hiwassee River changed its status to minor flooding.

Friday is expected to be clear, but rains will return on Saturday.

From the National Weather Service:

“Thunderstorms and heavy rain are likely over portions of north and central Georgia on Saturday and Sunday, with a few strong to severe storms possible each day. Localized flash flooding is also possible across far north Georgia where the heaviest rain occurs.

There is also a chance of thunderstorms across portions of north and central Georgia on Wednesday and Wednesday night.”

Feature image courtesy of Pat Hanbery.

Hiwassee River reaches moderate flooding following tropical storm Zeta

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zeta

HIAWASSEE, Ga – Citizens of Towns County are in the middle of a lengthy power restoration and cleanup process following tropical storm Zeta.

As of 5 p.m., the Blue Ridge Mountain EMC (BRMEMC), it reporting 1,583 power outages in Towns County alone. BRMEMC stated online that 21,000 customers were out of power across north Georgia and western North Carolina. By midday on Thursday, October 29, they had reduced the number to 17,000. They stressed that restoring power will be a multi-day effort and to please keep a safe distance from working crews.

The majority of outages were caused by downed trees and power lines as well as heavy rain from tropical storm Zeta.

The Hiwassee River crested well over its banks leaving some barns, fields, and cars underwater. At 9:15 a.m., the river had reached moderate flooding level at 11.9 feet. Flood level is 9 feet.

Images courtesy of Amanda Dockery.

Towns County spared brunt of stormy weather

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Enchanted Valley Resort

HIAWASSEE, Ga. – Towns County was narrowly spared the brunt of this week’s storms, with minimal flooding and no significant incidents or damage, other than downed trees, reported as a result of the rainy weather. Residents of Enchanted Valley RV Resort, however, closely monitored the quickly rising Hiawassee River, which runs along the banks of the mobile home park, ready to take action should the water continue to swell. Residents kept a close watch on their properties and the data provided by a river stage monitoring station on nearby Riverside Drive.  The low-lying residential area is prone to flooding during periods of extended rain.

USGS Hiawassee

USGS river stage monitoring station at Riverside Drive.

In May 2018, heavy rainfall from Subtropical Storm Alberto resulted in the extensive flooding of Enchanted Valley RV Resort, located off of Highway 75 South, with Towns County first responders arriving on scene to assist in after-dark evacuations.

While the Hiawassee River did rise considerably in a short amount of time, Mother Nature was overall kind to the residents of a park that recently suffered the loss of three homes due to a structure fire.

“River stage is an important concept when analyzing how much water is moving in a stream at any given moment. Stage is the water level above some arbitrary point, usually with the zero height being near the river bed, in the river and is commonly measured in feet,” the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), which gauges the water levels, website explains. “With the advent of modern computer and satellite technology, the USGS can monitor the stage of many streams almost instantly. Since some streams, especially those in the normally arid Western U.S., can rise dramatically in a matter of minutes during a major storm, it is important to be able to remotely monitor how fast water is rising ‘in real-time’ in order to warn people that might be affected by a dangerous flood. Recreational users of streams, such as kayakers, also use “real-time” stream-stage data to tell them if certain streams are at the right height for kayaking. The USGS can now gather data on river stage and even produce graphs showing stage as the rain is falling.”

Towns County flooding

USGS graph of the recent Hiawassee River water levels.

As the storms moved out of Towns County and the temperature decreased, slight precipitation remained in the atmosphere, resulting in a minimal amount of snowfall in portions of the county on the morning of Feb. 7. Another light dusting to a possible inch or more of snowfall is expected Saturday morning, Feb. 8.

Towns County Schools initially planned to operate on a two-hour delay, canceling campus classes entirely on Friday, Feb. 7, due to winter conditions.

Featured Image: The swift-moving Hiawassee River alongside Enchanted Valley RV Park, Hiawassee, GA

Towns County citizens, first responders trained as NWS storm spotters

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SKYWARN spotter

YOUNG HARRIS, Ga. – The National Weather Service (NWS), in cooperation with Towns County Emergency Management Agency (EMA), held a SKYWARN storm spotter class Oct. 18 at the Towns County Emergency Operations Center. Towns County citizens, along with first responders from Hiawassee Police Department, Towns County Fire and Rescue, and Towns County Emergency Medical Services, attended the severe weather seminar. The course was conducted by Peachtree City NWS meteorologist Dave Nadler.

An instructional SKYWARN slide shown during the presentation.

The SKYWARN class was designed to prepare participants to identify and report severe weather events, alerting the NWS of meteorological ground conditions and resulting damage to the area. Attendees were supplied with information on how to determine and monitor the structure of approaching storms, and what to report to the NWS in the event of severe weather. Safety instructions were included in the course.

Towns County became a StormReady community approximately 12 years ago, and re-certification is required by the NWS every four years.

Towns County EMA urged the community to sign-up for the CodeRED Weather Warning system, a computer-operated program that alerts residents of foul weather-related conditions. CodeRED Weather Warning is a unique service that automatically notifies citizens in the path of severe weather, moments after a warning has been issued by the NWS. CodeRED alerts are available at no cost.

Luke Dockery

Luke Dockery, a local weather enthusiast who completed the SKYWARN training.

The service delivers notifications to landlines and cell phones, emails, texts, social media, and/or mobile alerts. Residents and visitors will receive enhanced public safety alerts no matter where they are located via the CodeRED Mobile Alert app – a free public safety app for both Android and iPhone users. The CodeRED Mobile Alert app delivers community and emergency alerts to individuals targeted within an impacted geographical area so that citizens receive timely notifications when traveling away from home.

Click here to sign-up for CodeRED alerts

 

Feature Image: NWS meteorologist Dave Nadler leading the SKYWARN class.

 

 

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Towns County EMA encourages community to attend SKYWARN course

 

 

UPDATED: Towns County Emergency Management monitoring Hurricane Florence

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HIAWASSEE, Ga. – Governor Nathan Deal issued a state-of-emergency for Georgia’s 159 counties ahead of the impact from Hurricane Florence, a downgraded Category 2 storm expected to stall over the southeastern states once it makes landfall.

While the anticipated effects from the remnants of Hurricane Florence on Towns County have not been determined as of yet, Towns County Emergency Management Agency (EMA)  officials are closely monitoring developments as heavy rainfall and potential flooding is possible.

Towns County EMA is expected to provide a local forecast update at approximately noon today.

UPDATED, 9/14: Towns County EMA has advised that 1 – 4 inches of rain is possible over a 36-hour period, with 15 mph winds and 30 mph gusts.

UPDATED, 9/13 : Flash flooding with 30 mph winds could occur, late Sunday into early Monday, according to Towns County EMA Director Rickey Mathis. FYN will provide further updates, as necessary, as the remnants of Florence lash inland.

As of 8 a.m. on Thursday, Florence was approximately 275 miles east-southeast of Wilmington, North Carolina, and 220 miles east of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

Enchanted Valley RV Resort in Towns County suffered flooding after a late May storm

According to the National Hurricane center, the storm was moving northwest at 12 mph, and had maximum sustained winds of approximately 110 mph.

In the event that area flooding becomes an issue, Towns County EMA will provide information, along with the locations and operating hours of local shelters.

Towns County EMA encourages residents to subscribe to the CodeRed emergency alert system. The automated service notifies citizens of pertinent, area-specific information.

September is National Preparedness Month, and FYN recently reported on the importance of emergency planning.

Follow FYN for weather updates as Hurricane Florence approaches.

 

Feature Image: Projected path provided by FOX News

 

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Resort evacuated overnight, Highway 75 south suffers erosion

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HIAWASSEE, Ga. – Heavy rainfall from subtropical storm Alberto resulted in the flooding of Enchanted Valley RV Resort, located off Highway 75 south, during the early morning hours of Wednesday, May 30, 2018. Towns County first responders arrived on scene to assist in evacuation efforts. The mobile home park borders the Hiawassee River.

Towns County CodeRed emergency alert system began notifying residents of impending danger shortly before midnight Tuesday, May 29.

Towns County Fire Chief Harold Copeland told FetchYourNews he has never seen water rise to such levels so rapidly.

Enchanted Valley RV Resort

“The water was waist high in some areas, and I am 6 foot 3. I’ve never seen water run so fast,” Copeland said. “We cut off power as a safety precaution, and evacuated between ten to a dozen people.” Copeland said some residents were walked out while others were evacuated via a county vehicle. Approximately 30 residents were sheltered at Macedonia Baptist Church and Towns County Recreation Center overnight. Electricity was restored to the area at approximately 12:45 p.m. Wednesday, May 30.

Georgia Department of Transportation (DOT) has reported that Highway 75 south, north of Helen, between Robertstown and Unicoi Gap, is currently closed to traffic due to erosion from the recent rainfall.  Motorists are being diverted to a detoured route while road crews repair the damage.

Abundant moisture will remain across the area today with periods of showers and thunderstorms. Additional rainfall of one to 1.5 inches is expected, with higher amounts in localized areas. Some of these amounts could fall within a short period of time. Creek and river levels are already above average, and it will not take much additional rainfall to cause levels to rise above bank height. High waters may not recede until well after the rain has ended. A flood watch remains in effect until further notice.

 

 

[Feature photo: Highway 76 south, credit Georgia DOT]

[Enchanted Valley RV Park, credit Ella Whelchel]

 

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Tropical Conditions Expected in Hiawassee

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Hiawassee, GA – As Hurricane Irma churns through the “sunshine” state, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) urges residents, visitors, and evacuees to prepare for Tropical Storm conditions in northern Georgia.

A Tropical Storm Watch has been issued by the National Weather Service for Towns County and surrounding areas as Hurricane Irma’s outer bands travel through southern portion of the state.

**UPDATE: The Tropical Storm Watch has been upgraded to a Tropical Storm Warning**

Governor Nathan Deal has expanded a State of Emergency to include all 159 Georgia counties.

“Just because the weather appears to be calm now, don’t take that for granted,” Governor Deal warns.

As Hurricane Irma charges north, Towns County awaits her arrival.

Heavy rain amounts of 3-5 inches is expected locally, with sustained winds of 35-40 mph.

Computer models predict wind gusts exceeding 50 mph on Monday evening.

The risk to life and property is elevated due to expected tropical gusts and potential flash flooding. Do not attempt to travel during high winds and never attempt to cross flooded roadways.

Fallen debris is likely to occur and outdoor items should be secured in advance to prevent projectile damage.

If necessary to venture out, do not cross downed electrical lines and alert emergency services if one is located.

Power and communication outages are possible as the storm passes over the area.

There is no threat of tornadic activity at this time.

It is important to remain updated as weather forecasts are apt to change and additional developments may occur.

Follow Fetch Your News for local information as we track the destined to become historic hurricane.

 

Feature Image: wind forecast

 

Flash Flood Watch for North Georgia

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This information is from the National Weather Service. To see the full NWS Radar Image for Georgia please follow the link.

The remnants of Tropical Storm Cindy will push east through the weekend. Expect the moisture associated with TS Cindy to interact with a boundary that will move south across the region through Saturday night. Given the already saturated soils and plentiful moisture expected with this front, we may see more flooding issues, especially across north GA.

Over the past 24 hours, we have observed 1-3 inches of rainfall, mainly north of I-20.  This will be the main area of concern in terms of flooding potential.

WHAT:

Flash Flood Watch is in effect across north GA (along and north of I-20).


WHEN:

From 2 PM this afternoon through 8 PM Saturday evening.

IMPACTS:

An additional 1-2 inches with locally higher amounts is possible, potentially within the metro Atlanta area and points north and west.  This may lead to flooding in low lying and flood prone areas, especially in urban areas and along Interstate 20. In addition, creeks, streams and rivers may overflow their banks.

 

Heavy Rains Bring Flooding in North Georgia on Christmas Eve

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Heavy rains and thunderstorms throughout the night caused flooding in multiple areas in North Georgia.  Rains and thunderstorms were steady throughout the night and into the morning with another round expected later today, Christmas Eve 2015.

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Reports and photos coming in show areas in Fannin, Gilmer, and Pickens Counties where flood waters are rising.  FYN has reports of roads covered in water, bridges closed or out, and other areas under water.

Authorities warn citizens to use caution and do not enter areas where you cannot tell how deep the water may be.  We will bring additional information as received.

 

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