Storms expected to continue

By Ed Brock

The detention pond behind Albert Guerin's house on Folsom Road near Lovejoy has concerned him since it was built. When he woke up Tuesday morning he saw that Monday night's torrential rains had made his worries a reality.

"I just went out there looking because water was all over," he said. "Evidently there must have been a lot of water coming out of there ? a lot of water."

In fact the storms dumped 4 to 5 inches of rain in parts of Clayton County and 1 to 2 inches in parts of Henry County, according to the National Weather Service offices in Peachtree City.

And more is on the way.

"It's going to be a chance of showers and thunderstorms through Saturday and Sunday," said John Pontari with the NWS office. "There'll be some pop-up storms all week, some severe and some not."

Most of the damage from Monday night's storms was around Lovejoy and in the panhandle area of the county, said Vac Caldwell, training coordinator with the Clayton County Emergency Management Agency. Caldwell spent most of Tuesday gathering damage reports around the county.

Hurricane Creek overran its banks and blocked a road at one point and at least six houses were flooded with up to 2 ? feet of water in areas like Briar Creek Lane.

"We did have some wind because we lost some trees," Caldwell said. "Some of them snapped but we only have reports of thunderstorm winds."

Most of the municipal fire departments in the county reported only minor damage such as power lines down.

"We ran several false calls, probably due to the storm," Morrow Fire Chief David Wall said.

A resident of Keystone Apartments in Jonesboro received minor injuries when a small piece of sheetrock from her ceiling fell due to water that built up through a leak in the roof, Jonesboro fire Capt. Roger Swint said.

Only a few hundred people in Clayton and Henry counties lost power during the storms, Georgia Power spokeswoman Lolita Browning said, and some 7,500 customers in the Atlanta area lost power, primarily in DeKalb and Gwinnett counties.

The Land Development Division of the county's Transportation and Development Department received "a fair amount of complaints" Tuesday, civil engineer Ray Espinosa said. Espinosa said he would call the owner of the property behind Tara Plantation subdivision that includes the detention pond that flooded Guerin's yard to see about repairs.

Unlike a retention pond, a detention pond is designed to slow the flow of water, not to contain the runoff, Espinosa said.

With more severe weather in the forecast, Caldwell said emergency personnel are preparing as well as they could.

"We're coordinating with emergency responding agencies (such as the American Red Cross and the Department of Family and Children Services) in case we get a deluge so big that we have to do a mass care," Caldwell said. "Until it happens we have to wait to see how bad it is before any of those plans come into effect."