May 19, 2013

Heavy rains close Atlanta area roads

— ATLANTA (AP) — Heavy rains Sunday flooded roads in the Atlanta area, interfered with a college commencement and caused a mud slide.

The National Weather Service said more than five inches of rain fell in some parts of north and central Georgia. The rain closed some roads around Atlanta University Center on Sunday as people were trying to get to the Morehouse College commencement to hear President Barrack Obama.

Despite the weather, Morehouse maintained its tradition of having an outdoor ceremony surrounded by old academic buildings. “The president didn’t come to see the Georgia World Congress Center; he didn’t come to see a football stadium.  He came to see a Morehouse commencement,” Anne Watts, associate vice president for academic affairs, told the drenched audience.

Officials in Hall County reported that several roads in the Flowery Branch area was flooded and impassable Sunday after seven inches of rain. Flowery Branch Mayor Mike Miller urged motorists to avoid the downtown area. An advisory to boil water was issued for part of the town due to a broken water main.

Officials in Gwinnett County said Highway 316 at Duluth Highway was blocked because of flooding, and there were several intersections where traffic lights were blinking rather than working properly.

A mud slide in Dawson County blocked one lane of Highway 53 at Warhill Park Road. Officials reported two feet of mud on the road.

In Johns Creek, a tree fell on a bridge, blocking Parsons Road.

The rain was so heavy and constant that Lake Lanier’s water level rose a foot overnight.