Soggy Christmas = Traffic accidents, flooded roadways, power outages

The rain-soaked Christmas Day we just had resulted in few serious accidents on the streets and roads of Hall County, according to the sheriff’s department. There were several traffic accidents investigated by deputies that were attributed to the wet roads and some that may have been caused by them.

Here’s a Hall County Sheriff’s Office (HCSO) narrative:

·         On Christmas morning, just after 2 a.m., Hall County Sheriff’s Office deputies responded to a motor vehicle accident with injuries on Cornelia Highway (SR 365) just north of Athens Street. The first deputy to arrive found an overturned vehicle near the woodline on the southbound side of the roadway. Emergency medical personnel were already on the scene and had prepared the driver to be taken to the hospital with what appeared to be serious injuries to one of his legs. The preliminary investigation indicates the driver, who was alone in the vehicle, leaned over to pick up an item he had dropped in the floorboard and accidentally steered off the roadway and into an embankment. No other vehicles were involved.

·         HCSO deputies also were asked to investigate a single-vehicle crash in the 2400 block of Oconee Circle, which is near the intersection of Old

 Cornelia Highway. The accident occurred just after 7:30 p.m. According to the investigation, the driver of a passenger car left the roadway and struck a metal fence and two concrete pillars. The vehicle then overturned into a chain link fence. The driver was taken to the hospital for treatment of visible but non-life threatening injuries. The preliminary investigation indicates the driver might have lost control of his vehicle because of weather conditions.

·         The driver in a single-vehicle motor vehicle accident on Chestatee Road on Christmas evening was not injured, but it appears weather conditions contributed to the wreck. The report indicates the driver hydroplaned as he was traveling northbound on Chestatee Road near Shelter Cove. He traveled off the road and hit a guard rail. He then overcorrected and struck the guardrail on the other side of the road.”

The state patrol, meanwhile, reports that 14 people died on Georgia’s roads and highways during the Christmas weekend travel period from 6 p.m. Thursday until midnight last night. None of the fatalities occurred in northeast Georgia.


There was standing water on lots of streets and highways especially during those heavy downpours, but county officials say they received no reports that necessitated closing any roads despite rain totals approaching four inches in places. The airport in Gainesville recorded 3.58 inches Christmas day through 1:00 this afternoon, most of it early this morning and between 8:00 and midnight last night.

Both Jackson EMC and Habersham EMC reported weather-related power outages.

“Since 8:00 am yesterday we have had outages affecting 5,578 members across our 10-county service area due to weather (rain, wind and lightning),” Jackson EMC spokeswoman Wendy Jones wrote in an email. “Most outages have been restored within 1 to 2 hours. We currently (as of 2:00 p.m. Monday) have 8 members affected by outages that crews are working to restore.”

The lights went out in White County Christmas morning about 10:30. That was also weather-related. By 2:30 Tuesday afternoon all but eleven customers had had their power restored.

The Christmas weekend rains are expected to put a dent in the drought gripping north Georgia the past few months but are not likely to end it, according to the experts. The next update from the U.S. Drought Monitor is expected Thursday.