Northwest Georgia braces for more storms after flash floods cause state of emergency

Counties in north Georgia are bracing for another round of storms Labor Day after heavy rain left many houses, businesses, and roads underwater.

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp declared a state of emergency Sunday afternoon in Chattooga and Floyd Counties, directing all state resources to help with "preparation, response and recovery activities." The National Weather Service said rainfall of up to one inch per hour was causing creeks, streams, roadways and urban areas to experience unusually high levels of water. Up to 12 inches of rain was estimated to have fallen in the area, according to Kemp’s executive order.

"This is an extremely dangerous and life-threatening situation. Do not attempt to travel unless you are fleeing an area subject to flooding or under an evacuation order," the service said.

The service declared a "flash flood emergency" for Summerville, Lyerly and James H. Floyd State Park in Chattooga County. Floyd County — just to the south — was also under a flash flood warning.

At 3:10 p.m., the service advised locals to avoid non-emergency travel as another round of emergency rainfall entered the area.

"The water just comes up and up and up and it's continuing to come up more," said Lorie Berman, whose brother lives in Lyerly, Georgia.

Berman says this flooding is one of the worst she has ever seen.

"It's scary," she said. "You're worried about your animals and your house and your cars and your loved ones."

In Chatooga County's Silver Hill community, the rain caused a small landslide that sent trees crashing into the road.

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Viewer images of flooding in Summerville, Ga. (Provided by Jesse Nicole Gill) ((Provided by Jesse Nicole Gill))

Residents say they've never seen anything like the storms.

"I have not seen it to this magnitude, and I've lived here 47 years," said Chattooga County Sheriff Mark Schrader.

Schrader says as the floodwaters rose, rescue calls started coming in. They helped get several people out of their homes and stranded cars. He says some areas of the county are without drinking water.

"We had significant flooding in the downtown Summerville area, the Lyerly area, and Trion area also saw significant flooding," he said.

The city of Summerville advised residents who use the city’s water utility services to boil water prior to drinking, cooking or preparing baby food due to flash flooding at the Raccoon Creek Filter plant.

"Water should be boiled for at least one minute after reaching a rolling boil. Citizens should continue to boil their water until they are notified by their drinking water utility that the water system has been restored to full operation, and that the microbiological quality of the water in the distribution system is safe for human consumption," the city said on its website.

The sheriff says despite all the flooding, as of now, nobody has reportedly been hurt. He also says neighboring counties and the state are already helping with the recovery efforts.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.