Roadways in Cobb County are already flooded and more rain is on the way, according to local authorities.
In public social media posts Thursday morning Cobb County Communications Director Ross Cavitt said a few trees have fallen on roadways in the county, and a flash flood warning remains in place for Cobb and adjacent counties until 2 p.m. Thursday. He did not state which roads have been affected by flooding and fallen trees.
Cavitt also said a tornado watch is in place for Cobb and the surrounding area until 1 p.m. Thursday.
A severe thunderstorm warning was in place for the northwest part of Cobb County until 7:15 a.m. Thursday, Cavitt said.
He posted maps of the affected areas, stating up to two inches of rain has already fallen in Cobb and flash flooding is already occurring.
“Radar also indicates another round of torrential rainfall moving into the area,” Cavitt’s posts said. “Please use extreme caution when driving!”
Marietta police are also urging motorists to take care, after a car ran off the road and had to be lifted out of the scrub with a large crane on Wednesday night.
“Did you know you can still be issued a ticket for ‘too fast for conditions’ even if driving under the speed limit?!,” the Marietta Police Department posted on its public Facebook page around 8:30 p.m. Wednesday. “Please Marietta: lights on, slow down and arrive safe!”
Police posted several photographs of the wrecked vehicle being removed from the scrub, but did not state where or exactly when the incident occurred.
“This happened earlier on wet roads. Thankfully everyone is okay and Marietta wrecker had a crane big enough to pick up this car that far off the road!” the police department stated, adding the hashtags #slowdown #toofastforconditions. “It’s wet now … please, please, please do the math.”
Cavitt also advised in his posts for Cobb motorists to use extreme caution on the roads until rain stops and conditions improve.
“Don't drive this morning unless necessary, keep sources of weather information close,” he said.
The National Weather Service issued a special weather statement for Cobb and surrounding counties around 9:30 a.m. Thursday, saying a line of strong thunderstorms with torrential rainfall extended from Union Hill to near Lithia Springs to Big Springs and was moving east at 45 mph.
“Expect minor damage to tree limbs and blowing around of light unsecured objects,” the National Weather Service said. “Heavy rain will exasperate ongoing flooding especially in poor drainage areas.”
It advised anyone outdoors to seek immediate shelter.
“If you can hear thunder you are close enough to be struck by lightning,” the service said. “Motorists should slow down and be prepared for possible loss of control due to hydroplaning.”
It further warned that Cobb and surrounding areas would experience flooding of small creeks and streams, urban areas, highways, streets, underpasses, other drainage and low lying areas with an additional 1-3 inches of rain possible before 1 p.m. Thursday.
“Turn around, don’t drown when encountering flooded roads, the service warned. “Most flood deaths occur in vehicles. Move to higher ground now. Act quickly to protect your life. Residents living along streams and creeks should take immediate precautions to protect life and property.”
On Columns Drive, near its intersection with Atlanta Country Club Road just west of the Chattahoochee River motorists slowed to a crawl as they approached periodic large pools of water. Cavitt said Columns Drive is one of a few recurring problem areas that the county keeps its eyes on during storms.
Other problem areas include Woodland Brook, near the Chattahoochee River, and Old Paper Mill Road in east Cobb.
Also in East Cobb, Jimmy Nguyen, a resident of Lower Roswell Road, braved the downpour Thursday morning to clear drainage pipes on either side of his driveway.
Across the street, water covered the roots of large trees in front of Eastvalley Elementary School, and nearby, dirt from softball and baseball fields at nearby Terrell Mill Park spilled into the grass around them in red streams.
Small branches could be seen littering surface streets, and some larger trees laid across residents' fences.
Nguyen said his property floods with nearly every heavy rain. Bushes along the front of Nguyen's property, just across the street from Eastvalley Elementary School were covered by water up to their lower branches, and rain continued to pool on his driveway as he worked.
Cavitt told the MDJ on Wednesday the county had prepared for localized flooding and would have crews ready to assist in cases of flooding, drain clogging or other issues associated with the storms.