Weather Alert Update: Tropical Storm Warning issued for Walton, Gwinnett and surrounding counties

Update: A Tropical Storm Warning has been issued by the National Weather Service at Peachtree City for the local area, including Walton, Gwinnett and surrounding counties. According to the NWS, a Tropical Storm Warning means “Tropical storm wind conditions are expected somewhere within this area and within the next 36 hours.” The NWS has issued the following information about expected conditions.

* WIND

– LATEST LOCAL FORECAST: Tropical storm force winds remain possible

– Peak Wind Forecast: 25-35 mph with gusts to 55 mph

– CURRENT THREAT TO LIFE AND PROPERTY: Elevated

– The wind threat has remained nearly steady from the previous assessment.

– Emergency plans should include a reasonable threat for tropical storm force wind of 39 to 57 mph.

– To be safe, prepare for the potential of limited wind impacts. Remaining efforts to secure properties should now be brought to completion.

– Hazardous wind is possible. Failure to adequately shelter may result in serious injury. Move to safe shelter before the wind becomes hazardous.

– POTENTIAL IMPACTS: Limited

– Damage to porches, awnings, carports, sheds, and unanchored mobile homes. Unsecured lightweight objects blown about.

– Many large tree limbs broken off. A few trees snapped or uprooted, but with greater numbers in places where trees are shallow rooted. Some fences and roadway signs blown over.

– A few roads impassable from debris, particularly within urban or heavily wooded places. Hazardous driving conditions on bridges and other elevated roadways.

– Scattered power and communications outages.

* FLOODING RAIN

– LATEST LOCAL FORECAST: Flash Flood Watch is in effect

– Peak Rainfall Amounts: 3-5 inches, with locally higher amounts

– CURRENT THREAT TO LIFE AND PROPERTY: Elevated

– The flooding rain threat has remained nearly steady from the previous assessment.

– Emergency plans should include a reasonable threat for minor flooding where peak rainfall totals are near amounts conducive for localized flash flooding and rapid inundation.

– To be safe, prepare for the potential of limited flooding rain impacts.

– Localized flooding is possible. If flood related watches and warnings are issued, heed recommended actions.

– POTENTIAL IMPACTS: Limited

– Localized rainfall flooding may prompt a few evacuations.

– Rivers and tributaries may quickly rise with swifter currents. Small streams, creeks, and ditches may become swollen and overflow in spots.

– Flood waters can enter a few structures, especially in usually vulnerable spots. A few places where rapid ponding of water occurs at underpasses, low-lying spots, and poor drainage areas. Several storm drains and retention ponds become near-full and begin to overflow. Some brief road and bridge closures.

* TORNADO

– LATEST LOCAL FORECAST:

– Situation is unfavorable for tornadoes

– CURRENT THREAT TO LIFE AND PROPERTY: None

– The tornado threat has remained nearly steady from the previous assessment.

– Emergency plans need not include a threat for tornadoes. Showers and thunderstorms with strong gusty winds may still occur.

– Little to no preparations needed to guard against tropical tornadoes.

– Ensure readiness for the next tropical tornado event.

– POTENTIAL IMPACTS: Little to None

– Little to no potential impacts from tornadoes.

* FOR MORE INFORMATION:

– Family emergency plans: Federal Emergency Management Agency

– http://ready.gov/hurricanes

– Local weather conditions and forecasts:

– http://weather.gov/atlanta

Initial Story:

For possibly the first time in anyone’s memory, just before midnight on Saturday, Sept. 9, 2017, the National Weather Service at Peachtree City issued a Tropical Storm Watch to include the local areas of Walton, Gwinnett and surrounding counties, these include Baldwin, Barrow, Carroll, Clarke, Cobb, DeKalb, Douglas, Glascock, Gwinnett, Haralson, Jackson, Jefferson, Jones, Madison, Monroe, Morgan,  Newton, North Fulton, Oconee, Oglethorpe, Paulding, Rockdale, South Fulton, Walton, Washington, and Wilkes counties.

The area is also under a Flash Flood Watch until Tuesday, Sept. 12, 2017. The NWS warns of the potential severe wind and rain as well as the potential for tornadoes. Be prepared for widespread power outages that could last for several days. Click or tap on this link for information, potential impacts and necessary safety precautions issued by the NWS.

According to the NWS,  the storm was noted “about 740 miles south-southeast of Atlanta GA or about 660 miles south-southeast of Columbus GA – 23.5N 81.0W – Storm Intensity 120 mph – Movement Northwest or 305 degrees at 6 mph.”

Hurricane Irma continues as a major hurricane, centered just north of the coast of Cuba. Official National Hurricane Center track has Irma starting its track northward and strengthening slightly before making landfall along the west coast of Florida. The storm will then pick up speed as it continues north into portions of south central Georgia as a weakening category one hurricane.

As it moves into the local area, portions of the Central Georgia can expect tropical storm force winds beginning late Sunday nightwith North Georgia seeing these winds by Monday morning. During the day Monday, the greatest impacts will be felt with winds increasing to 40 to 50 mph with gusts as high as 70 mph along and east of the center of the storm track.

Because of the wet spring and early summer, the forecasted wind speeds will easily bring trees down across the area which will also lead to widespread power outages. Residents should be prepared in some cases to be without power for several days and stock up on supplies accordingly. Tropical storm force winds are expected to move out of the area late Monday night.

The National Weather Service

The National Weather Service warned of the following potential impacts of this storm.

* WIND:

Prepare for dangerous wind having possible significant impacts across portions of North and Central Georgia. Potential impacts in this area include:

– Some damage to roofing and siding materials, along with damage to porches, awnings, carports, and sheds. A few buildings experiencing window, door, and garage door failures. Mobile homes damaged, especially if unanchored. Unsecured lightweight objects become dangerous projectiles.

  • Several large trees snapped or uprooted, but with greater numbers in places where trees are shallow rooted. Several fences and roadway signs blown over.
  • Some roads impassable from large debris, and more within urban or heavily wooded places. A few bridges, causeways, and access routes impassable.

– Scattered power and communications outages, but more prevalent

in areas with above ground lines.

Also, prepare for hazardous wind having possible limited impacts

across portions of North and Central Georgia.

* FLOODING RAIN:

Prepare for dangerous rainfall flooding having possible significant

impacts across portions of North and Central Georgia. Potential impacts

include:

– Moderate rainfall flooding may prompt several evacuations and

rescues.

– Rivers and tributaries may quickly become swollen with swifter

currents and overspill their banks in a few places, especially

in usually vulnerable spots. Small streams, creeks, and ditches

overflow.

– Flood waters can enter some structures or weaken foundations.

Several places may experience expanded areas of rapid

inundation at underpasses, low-lying spots, and poor drainage

areas. Some streets and parking lots take on moving water as

storm drains and retention ponds overflow. Driving conditions

become hazardous. Some road and bridge closures.

Prepare for locally hazardous rainfall flooding having possible

limited impacts across portions of North and Central Georgia.

* TORNADOES:

Prepare for a tornado event having possible limited impacts across

NORTH AND CENTRAL GEORGIA. Potential impacts include:

– The occurrence of isolated tornadoes can hinder the execution

of emergency plans during tropical events.

– A few places may experience tornado damage, along with power

and communications disruptions.

– Locations could realize roofs peeled off buildings, chimneys

toppled, mobile homes pushed off foundations or overturned,

large tree tops and branches snapped off, shallow-rooted trees

knocked over, moving vehicles blown off roads, and small boats

pulled from moorings.

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