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Heavy morning rains cause road closures

LAWRENCEVILLE - While conditions weren't at the historic levels seen in late September, rainfall Monday soaked Gwinnett's roadways and caused several creeks and streams to swell above flood stage.

Light rain began falling in Lawrenceville between 3 and 3:30 a.m. and picked up after 7 a.m., when more than an 11/2 inches fell on motorists during morning rush hour.

By 11:30 a.m., Jon Richards, who maintains the Web site lawrencevilleweather.com, had measured 2.1 inches of rainfall in Lawrenceville.

The National Weather Service in Peachtree City issued a flood warning at 2:35 p.m. that included Gwinnett County, where Crooked, Level, Pew, Suwanee and Big Haynes creeks were affected by the rainfall.

"About two-thirds of the county had some kind of minor flooding going on at one time," said Kent Frantz, a service hydrologist with the National Weather Service in Peachtree City.

While three of the streams had fallen below flood stage by Monday afternoon, Suwanee and Big Haynes creeks

continued to experience minor flooding.

A flood warning for Suwanee Creek was set to continue through this afternoon. At midday Monday, the creek had swelled to 8.2 feet, just above its flood stage of 8 feet, and was expected to rise to almost 9.5 feet by Monday evening, falling below flood stage this afternoon.

The Alcovy River near Lawrenceville was at 10.6 feet and rising Monday afternoon and was expected to crest about 11.5 feet.

"It could easily stay in flood stage till tomorrow afternoon as well," Frantz said.

At least three local roads were closed Monday due to flooding.

A portion of Ga. Highway 124 in Lawrenceville, Brannan Road outside Snellville and Pittman Circle were all closed due to weather-related flooding.

Areas of heavy rainfall were expected to remain across parts of north Georgia throughout Monday afternoon, with flooding continuing through the night.

Frantz said Gwinnett residents could expect a break in the rainfall today with only a 20 percent chance of showers forecasted, but the relief wouldn't last.

"Be looking for more rain to move in late (tonight) into Wednesday," Frantz advised. "Unfortunately the amounts we expect are very similar to what we've just had."

Rainfall from 2 to 4 inches is expected to fall from late today through Friday when the ground is already saturated and creeks at high levels.

"It will be a lot easier to flood on Wednesday because of the rain (Monday)," Frantz said.