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Alerts issued, evacuations ordered as water rises

Alerts issued, evacuations ordered as water rises
Alerts issued, evacuations ordered as water rises | Alerts issued, evacuations ordered as water rises
By CHRIS MENEES
Staff Reporter
When it rained, it poured Monday in South Fulton.
Heavy rain flooded the area at midday, prompting city officials to evacuate some areas, close some bridges and issue an alert to residents. (See related story, this page).
Shortly before 3 p.m., South Fulton residents received alerts via the city’s Nixle notification system. The alert advised that bridges were closed and severe flooding in some areas was prompting evacuation, with more heavy rain expected later in the afternoon.
The alert told residents to take precautionary measures.
City officials said storm drains overflowed in several areas simply due to the intensity of rain in such a short period of time, and many creeks reached capacity, adding to the problem.
While no injuries were reported, South Fulton Fire Chief David Wilds said two or three children were rescued from a home on Central Avenue and a woman was safely removed from a home on Graham Street off Rosenwald. He said the children, whose parents were also there, were frightened and firefighters carried them out through the water.
Wilds said a shelter was set up in the gymnasium at South Fulton Baptist Church’s former location on Forrestdale, but no one in the neighborhood utilized the shelter. He said firefighters and police went door to door on every street affected by flooding in that area and people would not leave their homes.
“Some places it was waist high,” he said.
Wilds said water got inside four homes on Iron Street and those residents did have to leave.
“It butts up against the creek there,” he explained.
South Fulton Police Chief Andy Crocker said Monday’s incident “happened really, really fast.” He said water rose over streets where it normally does not flood.
South Fulton Mayor Ed Cassetty said city officials did an excellent job helping residents throughout the ordeal.
“We have some great people working here and they are prepared for emergencies and have been to training,” he told The Messenger. “They did a great job. … They work some long hours and we have confidence in them.”
Cassetty said public works, fire and police personnel closed down several streets and bridges, some of which remained closed this morning, and they worked to ensure everyone in the community was safe.
The mayor said he is thankful the onslaught of rain occurred during the daytime rather than at night when most residents would have been asleep.
“It would have made it a lot more difficult at night,” he said.
Cassetty said when three to five inches of rain fell in under an hour, there simply was not time for it to run off that quickly. Once the rain stopped, he said the main channels took away a lot of the water fast and it receded quickly.
“I’ve seen a lot of rain, but I believe this was the hardest I’ve seen it rain in an hour in my lifetime,” he added.
Staff Reporter Chris Menees may be contacted by email at cmenees@ucmessenger.com.
Published in The Messenger 6.18.13

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