0

Flood watch, rain a problem for Fourth of July events

File Photo Fireworks explode as rain falls during the Prelude to the Fourth celebration held at the historic courthouse in Lawrenceville last year.

File Photo Fireworks explode as rain falls during the Prelude to the Fourth celebration held at the historic courthouse in Lawrenceville last year.

Gwinnett County's Fourth of July celebrations have been left up to Mother Nature -- and so far, she's calling for downpours of rain Wednesday and Thursday.

On Wednesday morning Duluth joined the group of cities that have postponed their fireworks show. Snellville, Lilburn and Sugar Hill already postponed their events due to the predicted weather, but other cities are playing the waiting game to see if the forecast brightens up.

However, the chance of rain is approximately at 80 percent for Wednesday and 100 percent on Thursday, according to Jon Richards, a local resident who runs www.lawrencevilleweather.com.

"If you've been watching the weather recently, (the rain has) kind of been stuck to our south. Macon and Savannah has gotten a lot of rain," he said. "What is expected to happen is the high pressure that is south of us is going to move out a little bit, then the rain will hit metro Atlanta and it will be stuck here."

And it isn't going to be a sprinkle here and there -- it is expected to pour. Currently, metro Atlanta is under a flash flood watch until Friday morning.

"The real risk is that if it gets stuck over a city, say Snellville, which gets several inches of rain quickly. It can lead to a flash flood situation," Richards said. "There's been a lot of rain recently, so not everything is dry. The soil can hold only so much rain until it goes."

Duluth Celebrates America, the fireworks show put on by the city of Duluth, has been rescheduled for Sept. 14 when it will follow the Duluth Fall Festival concert featuring Rupert's Orchestra, according to a release sent out by the city.

Snellville announced late Tuesday that the 'Star-Spangled Snellville' event was postponed until Aug. 31.

The worry of rain hasn't stopped other events planned around the county. The Wednesday events in Duluth, Norcross and Lawrenceville are still on but everyone is monitoring the weather.

"Prelude is currently planned to take place as advertised," said Jenny Savoy, visitor center and membership manager of Lawrenceville Tourism & Trade Association. "However, should inclement weather become an issue, due to the logistics related to the size of the event, unfortunately, it will not be rescheduled."

As of Tuesday evening, Stone Mountain Park, Braselton and Loganville also said their fireworks displays, scheduled for Thursday, are still on.

"We could get 4- to 5-inches through early Sunday morning. It's going to be a pretty wet situation," Richards said. "It's hard to say exactly how much one area is going to get because it's up to the storm to decide where it wants to dump."

Sugar Hill has rescheduled its festivities for Aug. 3 and Lilburn is moving its fireworks display to Labor Day weekend, Sept. 1.