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Cindy brings heavy rains to Georgia

LAWRENCEVILLE - After a rainy Fourth of July, Gwinnett residents with any unused fireworks may want to wait until the remnants of Tropical Storm Cindy have passed through before lighting up the leftovers.

Lans Rothfusz, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service Office in Peachtree City, said Gwinnett residents should be expecting heavy rain with a chance of flash flooding early today.

The National Weather Service has put Gwinnett under a flood watch until 4 p.m. today, and Rothfusz said they expect the rain to end mid-morning.

"While the rain is needed, too much at one time can also be dangerous," Rothfusz said.

Tropical Storm Cindy may not be the last storm to bring rains to north Georgia in the near future either, with Hurricane Dennis looming in the Gulf of Mexico. Forecasters also warned Dennis was on track for the Alabama-Florida coastline.

Rothfusz, however, said that while the path of Tropical Storm Dennis is uncertain, it's looking as if it might move up the central portion of the country and steer clear of the East Coast.

This year's hurricane season has already made history, with July 5 being the earliest date to have four named Atlantic storms.

Early indicators seem to show that this will be an active hurricane season, Rothfusz said.

However, he said the season being active does not necessarily mean that many of the storms will make landfall, even though three of this year's four storms have come ashore so far.

Despite the early activity this year and several storms that devastated the Florida coast last year, Rothfusz said this does not indicate consistently active hurricane seasons in the future.

"Two years certainly doesn't make a pattern," Rothfusz said.

For families planning trips to the Gulf Coast, Rothfusz said they should stay abreast of tropical storm systems that may arise.

"People are going to need to pay attention to weather reports and plan accordingly," Rothfusz said.

For one group of summertime employees, the rain has not been altogether unwelcome.

Lindsay Timms, a lifeguard at the Richland neighborhood pool in Suwanee, said that the rain gives the guards an opportunity to do some cleaning along with a little relaxing.

"Compared to really sunny days, it's been pretty slow," Timms said of some recent rainy weather. "It can get really hot and pretty crazy with all the kids around here, so it's nice to have a break every now and then."