Rainfall in parts of northwest Georgia Sunday has been so heavy, CNN Weather estimates it is at least a one-in-200 year event.
“Portions of Chattooga and Floyd counties have received 10-13 inches, with more rain coming. These amounts have resulted in catastrophic flash flooding and a Flash Flood Emergency continues in that area,” the National Weather Service office in Atlanta said Sunday.
Rainfall of as much as 2 inches an hour are possible into Sunday evening, the weather service said, and more is expected into Tuesday.
Due to the “locally extreme rainfall” and additional rain forecast, the Weather Prediction Center upgraded to a level 3 out of 4 “moderate” risk for excessive rainfall Sunday afternoon through early Monday morning.
Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp issued a state of emergency order Sunday afternoon for severe flooding in Chattooga and Floyd counties. An estimated foot of rain in some places is expected to cause rivers to rapidly rise, according to the order.
“Preliminary assessments from county emergency management agencies and the Georgia Emergency Management and Homeland Security Agency indicate a need for assistance in the impacted counties,” the order read.
The area, including Summerville, Lyerly and the James H. Floyd State Park, is under a flash flood emergency warning Sunday.
“This is a PARTICULARLY DANGEROUS SITUATION. SEEK HIGHER GROUND NOW! Life threatening flash flooding of low water crossings, small creeks and streams, urban areas, highways, streets and underpasses,” the warning from the weather service said.
Jennifer Hurley, who has a salon in downtown Summerville, said it took her hours to get to her business because of flooding downtown. Her salon was among the businesses flooded in the town.
The Chattooga County Emergency Management Agency said more rain may be coming and urged residents not to venture out.
“We are expecting at least 2 more inches of rain today and we are asking everyone to PLEASE stay home and do not travel unless absolutely necessary,” the agency said on Facebook.