August 2, 2013

Flood warning issued in north Georgia mountains


Associated Press

ATLANTA — Rescue crews were trying to reach people trapped in homes and cars as heavy rains turned creeks into torrents of water in the north Georgia mountains Thursday. There were no immediate reports of any deaths or serious injuries.

A flash a flash flood warning for Gilmer County was in effect until noon Thursday, the National Weather Service said. Communities covered in the warning included Ellijay, Talking Rock and Talona.

In Pickens County, a mudslide washed over part of Burnt Mountain Road and a bridge on another part of the road was impassable because of high water, sheriff’s Lt. Kris Stancil told WXIA-TV. Firefighters in that county say a mobile home near Jasper had to be evacuated because of flooding.

Crews were working to rescue people from a vehicle that was stuck in a creek on Camp Hope Road at the Young Life Camp, Pickens County Fire Chief Bob Howard told WSB-TV.

Photos posted by the Pickens County Progress newspaper showed firefighters using ropes to try and reach two Young Life camp employees standing near a pickup on a small piece of land surrounded by raging floodwaters. The two were successfully rescued, the newspaper reported on its Facebook page.

Rescue crews were also working to remove a school bus driver from a bus with downed power lines on it on Burnt Mountain Road, Howard said. There are no students on the bus.

In Gilmer County, the emergency manager at 9 a.m. Thursday reported “life-threatening” flash flooding in the southeast part of the county after heavy rains overnight. An estimated 4 to 6 inches of rain fell in the area during the overnight and early morning hours, the National Weather Service said.

Crews were trying to rescue people trapped by floodwaters in Gilmer County, including one at a home on Avery Drive, authorities said. Reports of flooding were continuing to come into the sheriff’s office, the Gilmer County Sheriff’s Department said on its official Twitter account. Areas under water included Blackberry Mountain Road, Misty Valley Lane and Hemlock Lane, the sheriff said.

Sylvia Evans, of Ellijay, told WSB-TV the flood killed most of the animals that lived on her property.

“My rabbits, chickens, ducks. I had little peeps in the back and they’re all dead. That’s the worst,” she said. “I can handle this, but man, I can tell you what, they’re my babies.”

The Cobb and Forsyth county fire departments in metro Atlanta were sending crews to the hard-hit mountain areas to assist in the rescues, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.