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Ellijay, GA
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Clear Creek Acres subdivision. (Contributed photo)
by Mark Millican

Rumors that two of the county's watershed lake dams have been breached, causing flooding in the eastern and southeastern areas of Gilmer, have not been confirmed, said Chief Tony Pritchett of the fire and rescue department.

"We have heard a rumor going around, but have not been able to confirm it," he said. "We haven't seen any type of a surge
 of water as a result of that — if (any dams) were breached, that would have been the case."

Pritchett said he had been in touch with the Department of Natural Resources, and will also dispatch some of his personnel, to inspect the dams.

Multiple rescue operations have been conducted in the following areas: Blackberry Mountain, Azalea Drive, Hemlock Drive, Cambry Lane, Homer Wright Road. 

Pritchett said as floodwaters recede they will try to get an assessment of how many homes have been damaged. He said fire and rescue personnel will be very busy the next 3-4 days.

The Weather Channel noted the corner where Gilmer, Pickens and Dawson counties touch was the epicenter of the heavy rain. Jim Leslie of Mountain Aire Environmental reported a rain gauge on Burnt Mountain measured over 7 inches.

County code inspection officer James Holloway has reported 17 of the 20 watershed dams have been inspected today and none have been breached. "Every one of them is functioning," he said. "If one of those breached, Ellijay would be washed away. (The dams) are built for 500-year floods. After every storm like this we have, we check them all within 24 hours. By 5 o'clock this afternoon, we will have checked all of them. (So far) we have not found a problem."

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