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Heavy rains prompt more flood watches

LAWRENCEVILLE -- Heavy rainfall and high winds Friday might have put a slight damper on the final weekend to shop before the Christmas holiday.

But according to Jon Richards, who maintains the Web site lawrencevilleweather.com, shoppers will likely only see clouds today before sunshine returns Sunday.

A little more than 1.4 inches of rain fell in Lawrenceville beginning early Friday morning and continuing into the evening. More than half that amount fell after noon.

"The worst of the rain is over," Richards said. "All this rain is coming up, obviously, from the Gulf Coast and it's heading northeast, to Washington, D.C., and New York, where they are expecting snow. At least we're not getting the snow."

The heavy rains Friday, accompanied by 20-mph winds and gusts of 30 mph or more, prompted the National Weather Service in Peachtree City to issue a flood watch for Crooked Creek near Norcross, followed by a flood warning for Pew Creek new Lawrenceville. A flood watch was in effect through the evening for Gwinnett and surrounding counties, with 1 to 3 inches of rainfall expected across northeast Georgia.

"Those people living in flood-torn areas should continue to monitor their local waterways through tonight, but we expect to be able to drop our flood watch by midnight (today)," said Rob Handel, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service. "A few locations may remain under flood warnings for the next couple of days."

Looking forward to Christmas Eve, forecasts are calling for a chance of rain with a slight chance of snow.

"Portions of Gwinnett County could get a couple flakes but mostly rain," Handel said.

Any potential snowfall is forecast for areas north of Interstate 85.

"We will see," Richards said. "There might actually be a chance, a small chance, of a white Christmas."