Kingston Highway is closed this morning after a tree fell across the roadway, and there are trees down and power outages across the county. Several businesses are delaying opening -- including Floyd Medical Center and Harbin Clinic -- and schools are closed.
"There are trees down all over the place," Floyd County EMA Director Tim Herrington said. "People need to be careful."
Floyd County public works reported at 2 p.m. there were still numerous trees and utility lines down:
- Clements Road #365 – Power Line on Ground
- Little Texas Valley near Iron Bridge and Scenic Road – Trees in utility lines
- Holland Drive #3 – Trees in Power Lines
- Mahogany #7 – Power Lines on Fence – Unknown if Road is Passable
- Radio Springs From #458 to stop sign at Mt. Alto Closed – Tree in Power Lines
- East Hermitage about 1 mile from Calhoun Road – Tree with Power Lines
- Livingston Road – Tree with Power Line
- Glenn Road – Tree with Power Lines
- Ridgeview at Ramblewood – Tree with Power Lines
- Davis Road – Section between Glenn Road and 411 Closed - Tree with Power Lines
- Jackson Chapel Road – Tree with Power Lines
- Barker Road #383 – Tree with Power Lines
- Boulder Road #182 – Tree with Power Line – Service Lines – Road Blocked
- Manco at Booze Mountain – Tree with Power Lines
- New Hermitage – Between Old Calhoun and Cinnamon – Tree with Power Lines
- Billy Pyle – Tree with Power Lines
- Buttermillk Road - #1422 Tree with Power Lines
- Shropshire Road – Limb in Power Lines, but passable
- Sunny Heights Road – Tree with Power Lines
- Sand Springs at Boggs Farm - Tree with Power Lines
- Sand Springs #633 – No Tree Power Lines in Road
- Texas Valley #1587 – Tree leaning on power lines off roadway– road passable, but could change
- Fouche Gap at Lavender Trail – tree down with power lines
- Preacher Smith – From McBurnett to Stop Sign at Pleasant Valley Closed – Tree in Power Lines
- Midway School Road #20 at Woodberry – Power Lines
- Thomas Bluff – Tree Down with Power Lines
- River Place #21 – Tree partially in cul-de-sac with power lines
- Davis Street #136 – Tree Down in Power Lines – Road Partially Open
- Park Avenue - #766 – Limb in Power Lines – Road Open – Low Priority?
- Nanellen Road – Tree with Power Lines
- Margo Trail at Kent – Tree with Power Lines
- Conway Place – ATT and Cable Lines
- Big Texas Valley – 3 Trees in Power Lines between Friday Road and Fouche Gap Road – some residents are blocked on both ends.
- Pierce Hill Road – County Crews on site now – should get open shortly.
"Be advised that this list is changing almost constantly and not just getting smaller," Floyd County Public Works Director Michael Skeen said. "As more people get out and about, the calls are still coming. One just fell at 1 p.m. We have cleared approximately 100 trees off County roads since about 3:30 a.m."
If you must travel:
- Watch for downed wires. Downed power lines may be hidden by debris or fallen trees.
- Never touch any downed wire or attempt to remove tree branches from power lines – it can kill.
- Don’t step in standing water or saturated ground where downed lines may be present. They could be electrified.
- Avoid chain link fences. They may be electrified by a downed line out of sight and conduct electricity over great distances.
At this point the remnants of Zeta have dumped approximately 4" of rain in this area.
The good news is the weather cleared up around noon.
"(The storm) was moving by pretty fast," he said. "I'm happy about that."
Hurricane Zeta is just short of being considered a major hurricane as it speeds toward storm-weary Louisiana with New Orleans squarely in its path.
Forecasters say the storm is expected to make landfall in southeast Louisiana on Wednesday afternoon.
In a 3 p.m. update, the U.S. National Hurricane Center says the storm has top sustained winds of 110 mph. It was just 1 mph shy of becoming a powerful Category 3 storm.
If Zeta makes landfall with 110 mph winds it will be the strongest hurricane to make landfall in the continental United States this late in the calendar since the 1899 Halloween Hurricane hit South Carolina, according to Colorado State University hurricane researcher Phil Klotzbach.
Workers closed one of the last floodgates surrounding the city as residents braced for the 27th named storm of a historically busy Atlantic hurricane season.
Tropical storm warnings were issued as far away as the north Georgia mountains, highly unusual for the region. New Orleans has been in the warning areas of seven previous storms that veered east or west this season. Zeta was staying on course.
The center of Zeta is then expected to weaken and move northeastward across portions of west central and north Georgia tonight and into Thursday morning, according to the Floyd County Emergency Management Agency.
Higher wind gusts up to 50 mph are possible.
The watch is still in effect through midday Thursday. This area is still under a flash flood watch through Thursday evening.
Periods of heavy rainfall are expected across portions of northern and western Georgia from today into Thursday. We can expect 2" to 4" of rain with higher amounts will be possible, which could cause flooding.
With already saturated grounds from previous rainfall, periods of heavy rainfall may lead to localized flash flooding as well as flooding of rivers and streams. In addition, with trees already losing leaves, drains may become easily clogged in periods of rainfall - especially causing issues in low-lying areas.
A tropical storm watch is in effect for portions of north and west central Georgia through midday Thursday as sustained winds 25-35 mph with gusty winds up to 50 mph will be possible as Zeta crosses the area later tonight into Thursday. Gusty winds are also possible in stronger showers with embedded thunderstorms and in higher elevations.
With this current track forecast, weak, short-lived tornadoes are possible across portions of central Georgia late tonight into Thursday. However, according to the EMA, widespread severe storms are not expected at this time and the threat will continue to be evaluated as the storm approaches.
Previously posted on Oct. 27:
Floyd County EMA Director Tim Herrington said they believe it’ll be a fast-moving storm, with most of the rain hitting the region late Wednesday evening into early Thursday morning.
He cautioned people to prepare for downed trees and possible power outages, as well as strong winds and heavy rainfall.
“This heavy rainfall axis across the area projected for late Wednesday night into Thursday could produce flash flooding, downed trees and power lines resulting in power outages,” Herrington said. “The potential is relatively low risk early Thursday.”
According to the National Weather Service, after Zeta crosses the Yucatan Peninsula, the storm will likely strengthen into a Category One hurricane.
Zeta — the sixth letter in the Greek alphabet — put the 2020 hurricane season in the record books as only the second year in history to see 27 named storms. Once the predetermined name list for 21 Atlantic tropical storms runs out, the subsequent storms are named using the Greek alphabet.
Before the storm hits the area, local governments and the EMA will be working on cleaning leaves and other debris out of the sewers to lessen the impact of flash flooding and to get ahead of the storm.
Gusts of winds as strong as 25 to 40 miles per hour and around three to four inches of rain will be possible as it crosses this area before traveling up the east coast.
Portions of northern and western Georgia are also in a marginal risk of excessive rainfall, with all of Northwest Georgia in a slight risk of excessive rainfall.
After the storms begin to dissipate, Herrington will begin finding out if there are any areas with power outages and getting those areas back up, as well as seeing if there are any downed trees that need to be removed.
The NWS will be giving another weather briefing to emergency management teams on Thursday at 8 a.m.