ATLANTA, GA — First most of Georgia, including the Atlanta metro, was pummeled by Hurricane Irma, which killed three people and left more than a million Peach State residents without power. Now Hurricane Nate is projected to sweep across the region Sunday, putting the Atlanta area under a tropical storm watch in what has been an active storm season. On Saturday Hurricane Nate remained a category 1 storm, but it’s expected to strengthen to a Category 2 storm as it closes in on the U.S. Gulf Coast, including New Orleans and the Louisiana bayous.
Already blamed for nearly two dozen deaths across Central America, the storm is churning toward landfall somewhere between Southeastern Louisiana and the Alabama-Florida border, bringing with it the potential for 7-foot walls of water crashing onto parts of the mainland Saturday night or Sunday morning. The storm, packing winds gusting as high as 90 mph, has a region roughly from Morgan City, Louisiana, to Pensacola, Florida, in its bullseye.
Strong winds, heavy rainfall are expected as Nate moves inland. (SIGN UP: Get Patch’s Daily Newsletter and Real Time News Alerts. Or, if you have an iPhone, download the free Patch app.)
Heavy rainfall, flash flooding, strong wind gusts, and isolated tornadoes are all possible on Sunday afternoon and evening, according to the National Weather Service. Power outages can also be expected, mainly in northwestern Georgia where winds will be the strongest. Because Nate covers a large area, tropical storm conditions can occur outside of the narrow "cone of uncertainty."
The Weather Service says a tropical storm watch is in effect for portions of north Georgia, including these counties: Bartow, Carroll, Catoosa, Chattooga, Cherokee, Clayton, Cobb, Coweta, Dade, Dawson, DeKalb, Douglas, Fannin, Fayette, Floyd, Forsyth, Gilmer, Gordon, Gwinnett, Hall, Haralson, Heard, Lumpkin, Murray, North Fulton, Paulding, Pickens, Polk, South Fulton, Towns, Troup, Union, Walker, White, and Whitfield.
Hurricane Nate continues to progress north northwest over the Gulf of having possible significant impacts across far north Georgia. Potential impacts include:
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.
High rainfall amounts and resulting runoff could result in flooding that may prompt evacuations and/or 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 are possible.
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.
Images courtesy of the National Weather Service
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