Heavy Rains Soak Mid-Atlantic States; Georgia Rivers Flood and Virginia Declares State of Emergency

ATLANTA, Nov. 11 (UPI) — Heavy rains that pushed Georgia creeks over their banks Wednesday prompted Virginia officials to declare a state of emergency.

Gov Timothy M. Kaine directed Virginia agencies to take necessary actions to protect the public from “the combined effects of the remnants of Tropical Storm Ida and a coastal nor’easter.”

“With the National Weather Service indicating that eastern Virginia could experience flooding and storm surge comparable to the effects of a Category 1 hurricane, it’s critical that Virginians make the necessary preparations,” Kaine said. “While we will continue to monitor conditions, the Commonwealth is preparing for a period of coastal flooding through at least Friday evening.”

State officials said there was a chance of flooding in other parts of the state as well.

Parts of Georgia got 4 to 6 inches of rain, with Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport reporting 4.56 inches early Wednesday, Columbus logging 5.6 inches and Pine Mountain reporting 6.25 inches, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.

While flash flood warnings for north and central Georgia expired Wednesday morning, the National Weather Service kept northern Georgia under a wind advisory until Wednesday night. Forecasters predicted winds blowing 15-30 mph during the day with gusts to 40 mph.

The storm system was expected to affect the mid-Atlantic coast through Friday, churning rough surf along the North Carolina and Virginia coastlines, AccuWeather.com reported. Ida was predicted to strengthen into a potent nor’easter Wednesday, moving little through Thursday night and soaking the North Carolina-Virginia coast with windswept rain.

Forecasters said up to 6 inches of rain could fall between Wednesday and Friday in the area, which includes Raleigh, N.C., and Norfolk, Va.

Copyright 2009 by United Press International

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