A powerful cold front moving in from the west spawned at least one tornado, prompted numerous weather warnings, and delivered heavy rain and flooding as it moved into Georgia on Wednesday.
11:30 P.M. UPDATE --The line of storms is east of Augusta and nearly out of Georgia as the cold air begins to move in. Temperatures should be in the mid-30s by Thursday morning, according to FOX 5 Storm Team chief meteorologist Ken Cook.
Winds could gust up to 40 mph tonight, Ken says. Secure loose items around your home to prevent them from blowing away.
A Flood Warning remains in effect for Forsyth, Fulton and Gordon counties.
9:35 P.M. UPDATE -- A boil-water advisory has been posted for Adairsville.
Fannin County Schools will be closed on Thursday. Click here for a list of closings.
As of 9 p.m., Georgia Power said there were 15,484 homes statewide without power. About 4,400 of those were in northwest Georgia; 3,900 were in the east; 3,000 in the south; 16,00 in central Georgia and 500 in metro Atlanta.
Georgia's electric membership cooperatives (EMCs) reported 11,000 customers without power in the western and northern parts of the state as of 7 p.m. Georgia EMC said its crews reported significant damage to hundreds of utility poles, transformers and power lines.
Most of the power was expected to be restored late Wednesday, but some customers in extreme north Georgia may be without power for one or two days, Georgia EMC said.
7:30 P.M. UPDATE --The Georgia Department of Transportation has issued the following update about road closures and flooding issues related to today's storms:
- SR 60 in Fannin County, between Mile Posts 23 & 24 (North of SR 515)—waiting for power lines to clear
- SR 15 in Oconee County at Mile Post 11.07 in Watkinsville, two lanes closed due to slow moving water.
- Fulton County, I-285 EB entrance ramp from Riverside Drive is blocked due to flooding
- Fulton County, I-75 NB at Moores Mill Road, left lanes flooded due to slow moving water
- Fulton County, SR 166 WB, west of Delowe Drive, slow moving water
- Fulton County, SR 166@ Stanton Road, one lane closed on ramp
- Fulton County, I-20 WB at Langhorn Street, flooding in the area
- Newton County, I-20 EB at Almon Road, left lane flooded
- Greene County, I-20 EB, east of Mile Post 135, one lane blocked due to fallen tree
- Jackson county, flooding on SR 11 at MP 7, just south of SR 129.
6:30 P.M. UPDATE -- The National Weather Service has issued a Flood Warning for Big Creek near Cumming until further notice. According to the NWS, the flood stage is 6 feet. It should reach 7 feet later tonight. That could result in covering the area under the Georgia 400 Highway and McFarland Road will be covered with around two feet of water, the NWS said.
A Wind Advisory and Flood Watch has been issued for numerous counties.
5:40 P.M. UPDATE -- FOX 5 Storm Team chief meteorologist Ken Cook says that threat of severe weather is over in the metro Atlanta area. He said that all counties from the metro area should be clear of a tornado watch by 6:30 p.m.
Ken said that strong winds could continue through the evening. That, combined with the ground softened by the rain, could cause some trees to fall.
Possible flooding also remains a concern in some areas, particularly between Big Creek near Alpharetta and Cumming, as well as Crooked Creek between Gwinnett County and Fulton. Also, Hiawassee and the Nottely River in the north Georgia area could see overflowing banks.
5:20 P.M. UPDATE -- The Georgia Department of Transportation is urging drivers to avoid the roads as much as possible on Wednesday following a strong storm system.
GDOT officials report the following road closures:
* SR 60 in Fannin County, between Mile Posts 23 & 24 (North of SR 515)—waiting for power lines to clear;
* SR 140 in Adairsville, Bartow County
According to GDOT, the following roads have reported flooding issues:
DeKalb County: I-285 SB at Ponce De Leon -- flooding in lane four (on the right)
Fulton County: I-85 SB ramp at Camp Creek Parkway -- ramp closed due to flooding
Fulton County: SR 166 WB, west of Delowe Drive -- slow moving water
Jackson County: flooding on SR 11 at mile post 7, just south of SR 129
4:45 P.M. UPDATE -- Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal has declared a State of Emergency in Bartow and Gordon Counties as a result of the storm.
FOX 5 Storm Team chief meteorologist Ken Cook says that the rain should continue in the metro Atlanta area for the next two or three hours. Areas in northwest Georgia should receive 2 to 3 inches of rain total, prompting a flood watch in many counties.
4:35 P.M. UPDATE -- The National Weather Service has updated the current tornado watch to remove some counties. The current watch is in effect until 8 p.m. and includes the following Georgia counties: Baker, Baldwin, Banks, Barrow, Bibb, Bleckley, Butts, Calhoun, Chattahoochee, Clark, Clay, Colquitt, Crawford, Crisp, Decatur, Dooly, Dougherty, Early, Elbert, Franklin, Grady, Greene, Habersham, Hancock, Hart, Houston, Jackson, Jasper, Jones, Lamar, Lee, Macon, Madison, Marion, Miller, Mitchell, Monroe, Morgan, Muscogee, Newton, Oconee, Oglethorpe, Peach, Pulaski, Putnam, Quitman, Rabun, Randolph, Schley, Seminole, Stephens, Stewart, Sumter, Talbot, Taliaferro, Taylor, Terrell, Thomas, Tift, Turner, Twiggs, Upson, Walton, Webster, Wilcox, Wilkes, Wilkinson, and Worth.
4:30 P.M. UPDATE -- Georgia Department of Transportation officials report that there is flooding on Interstate 75 northbound south of Moores Mill Road. The HOV lane and two left lanes (of four) have been blocked. It is expected to be cleared around 5:15 p.m.
Also, flooding is reported on I-85 south at Camp Creek Parkway. All exit lanes are blocked. It is expected to be cleared around 5 p.m., according to GDOT officials.
4:15 P.M. UPDATE -- Georgia Power said that about 10,200 customers statewide are without power. Of those, 5,600 power outages were in northwest Georgia. Click here for up-to-date information from Georgia Power.
4:10 P.M. UPDATE -- Brittany McAplin of George Emergency Management Agency said that in addition to the reported tornado in Adairsville, significant damage has also been reported in Gordon County.
At least 50 homes were impacted in the Farmville and Sonoraville. McAplin said there were reports of eight injuries, including two critically. Search and rescue efforts were ongoing, she said.
McAplin confirmed that one person had been killed in Adairsville and nine people were injured.
3:45 P.M. UPDATE -- The storm system is making its way across the metro Atlanta. FOX 5 Storm Team chief meteorologist Ken Cook said the storm was moving east around 70 mph. A tornado warning remains in effect in Upson County until 4 p.m., while most of the area remains under a tornado watch until 8 p.m. A flood watch is also in effect for many counties.
Some school and church services have canceled activities and services. Click here for an updated list.
PREVIOUS UPDATES -- Officials in Bartow County say a tornado touched down in Adairsville, near city hall at around 11:00 a.m. Several buildings have been destroyed, and there are reports of five people trapped in a building. There are also reports of overturned cars at a McDonald's in the town. One person has reportedly been killed and nine people were reportedly injured.
Also in Bartow County, authorities report two accidents, one involving a tractor trailer truck, have shut down all north and south bound lanes on Interstate 75. It is not known if the accidents are weather related.
In Gilmer County, trees are reported to be on power lines on the Highway 515 connector near Highway 52 East. Trees have also been reported down on several roads in the county.
Several homes in Calhoun along Dews Ponds Road have been damaged by falling trees, and flooding is reported in some areas.
The FAA is reporting that Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport is experiencing gate hold and departure delays ranging from 30 to 45 minutes. Arriving flights from several destinations are experiencing delays from 30 minutes to nearly 2 hours.
These delays could get longer as the severe weather continues. To check flight times and delays, click here.
A tornado watch is in effect for some areas of north Georgia and portions of central Georgia until 8 p.m. A tornado watch means weather conditions are favorable for tornadoes to form.
A High Wind Warning is in effect through 6 p.m. Wednesday for several counties in northeast Georgia. Winds speeds in those counties could be 30 to 40 mph and gusting as high as 50 mph. Many areas could see anywhere from 1 to 2 inches of rain, with some mountain areas possibly seeing up to 3 inches, according to meteorologist Joanne Feldman.
A Flood Warning is in effect for several counties in north and northeast Georgia through Wednesday evening.
The system should move out of the state by Wednesday evening as temperatures drop for the weekend.
Stay with the FOX 5 Storm Team for details on this developing weather situation, and follow us on Twitter @FOX5StormTeamfor the latest updates!
Don't forget to download the FREE FOX 5 Storm Team app! It's available for iPhone, iPad and Android. Click here for more details.