ATLANTA — More rain moved into Georgia on Wednesday as forecasters warned another 1 to 2 inches was expected to fall in much of the area by week’s end, adding to the deluge that has saturated the state in recent days, authorities said.
The heaviest rain Wednesday through Friday was expected over central Georgia, the National Weather Service said. A flood watch was extended to Friday evening, authorities said. It covers all of north Georgia and extends as far south and east as the Americus and Augusta areas.
Flooding is continuing along many Georgia creeks and rivers, the weather service said. Forecasters say the additional rain will likely prolong flooding in many of those flooded areas and cause new flooding as well.
In northeast Georgia, Oconee County sheriff’s officials asked some residents to evacuate their homes Tuesday night over concerns that a dam may fail on a lake in their subdivision, The Athens Banner-Herald reported. County officials said if the dam fails, it would cut off access to about nine homes.
In the northeast Georgia mountains, the creeks and streams that pour into the Chattahoochee River and, ultimately, into Lake Lanier were pushing the lake to levels not seen in years. Lake Lanier’s level was nearing 1,075 feet above sea level Wednesday, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers data showed. The record high is 1,077.15 feet, set on April 14, 1964.
The Corps of Engineers routinely releases water from the lake into the Chattahoochee. However, if it is raining within the basin and releases are increased, more people will be flooded downstream, Corps spokeswoman Lisa Parker told The Times of Gainesville.
In the Columbus area, authorities said the Chattahoochee likely will remain at or close to its current flood stage, The Columbus Ledger-Enquirer reported.