Update from SCEMS and the NWS on expected flooding, and information on utility outage reporting:
National Weather Service officials have been in contact with Stephens County Emergency Management this morning, discussing the potential flood hazards posed to the county with the expected rainfall over the next 24 hours.
Stephens County Emergency Management officials just issued the following press release:
"We just got off a special weather briefing with NWS from Peachtree City. They are stressing that there is a possibility for significant flash flooding tonight and into the morning. The bulk of the rain that we are expected will come overnight and this will be a nighttime event. We are under a flash flood watch until tomorrow evening, as of now. We are at risk for a significant flash flood threat. They are predicting widespread river flooding. Stephens County is close to the line separating 2-3 inches from 3-4 inches. There is a chance we could see more than 3 inches tonight depending on how everything sets up.
"There are some counties that have been given a high-risk level for excessive rainfall, which is a 4/4. This doesn't happen very often at all. The NWS doesn't usually issue that high of a risk level. Stephens County is listed at a moderate level which is a 3/4, which is still pretty high.We also could experience some severe weather Wednesday and we are expecting more rain Saturday through Monday.
"Please do not take this lightly. After all of the rain and snow, last week and over the weekend, the ground is already saturated. The rain we get tonight and through the rest of the week isn't going to soak in as well as it normally does.Do not drive through flooded roadways or streets. Just 12 inches of water can carry away a small car. Turn around, don't drown. Stay off the roadways if possible and report any life-threatening emergencies to 911.
"See below for contact information for power companies and the non-emergency number for Stephens County 911.As always, if you have an emergency please dial 911 but do not call 911 for power outages. Call your power company to report power outages. This is also true for TV and internet outages.
"For outages with Georgia Power call 1-888-660-5980 or use this website to report an outage via the internet or to see current outages.
For outages with Hart EMC call 1-800-241-4109. You can view current outages at https://www.hartemc.com/outage-center/
For outages with Habersham EMC call 706-839-4111. You can view their current outages at http://outageview.habershamemc.com/#viewer-menu-parent
For Windstream outages call 1-800-481-3407, Option 3