A flash flood watch had been issued Friday with a prediction of 1 to 2 inches of rain, but Tim Padgett, director of the Carroll County Emergency Management Agency, said he had been advised that the National Weather Service was “confident” the worst of Saturday’s weather had passed by early last night.
The rainfall, however, did cause the county to close four more roads. Padgett said crews were doing emergency repairs on Cumbie Road to get it reopened because it provides the only access residents have to their neighborhood.
Padgett said the number of road closings and openings have been changing not only daily, but by the hour. A number of roads damaged earlier in the week remain closed.
Meanwhile, relief organizations and volunteers continued Saturday to distribute food, cleaning material and other products to flood victims, while residents whose homes and property were damaged were still cleaning up.
A much-needed respite from rain was expected for today, with forecasters calling for typical fall weather — sunny with highs in the upper 70s and no rain.
But Padgett said residents need to continue to be aware of their surroundings due to the saturation of the area.
Georgia Insurance Commissioner John Oxendine on Saturday raised the estimated cost of damage caused by heavy flooding in parts of north Georgia to $500 million. The new figure was twice as much as Tuesday’s initial damage estimate of $250 million.
“I think it could quite possibly go up,” Oxendine said, adding that the estimate of half a billion dollars was conservative.
Oxendine said 20,000 homes and other structures suffered major damage, mainly in the area north and west of Atlanta.
A federal disaster declaration has been issued to provide individual assistance for recovery efforts to residents in Carroll County and 17 other Georgia counties that were hardest hit. Heard County was added Saturday.
Padgett said the county remains in an emergency phase, and that crews will be working 12-hour days.
“We’re just trying to get everybody’s lives back together,” he said.
A donation drive at Tabernacle Baptist Church in Carrollton, a joint effort of area churches and the Carroll County EMA, will distribute relief kits again today from 1-4 p.m. Anyone in Carroll County affected by the flood, major or minor, can come to the church parking lot where they can pick up food and other items.
The Salvation Army will be distributing cleanup kits, bottled water, and food boxes to flood victims today.
Flood victims can visit the The Salvation Army’s Carrollton Service Center at 115 Lake Carroll Blvd. from 1-4 p.m. Applicants must have a valid photo ID and show proof of residence in flood-affected areas to receive assistance. Only one applicant may apply per household.