Cars are shown piled up along Atlanta Student Movement Blvd. (Courtesy WSB-TV)

A line of severe thunderstorms this afternoon caused flooding in Atlanta, especially in the Downtown area, forcing the closure of the Georgia Aquarium.

Thousands were without power, including a large swath of East Atlanta, according to Georgia Power.

Channel 2 Action News meteorologist Brad Nitz said nearly 3 inches of rain fell between 2 and 3 p.m. causing the flash floods.

Flooding along Baker Street in front of the Georgia Aquarium seeped into the attraction, which closed for the rest of Thursday.

The aquarium was forced to evacuate visitors due to the storm. The attraction issued a statement stating that any guests who had tickets for this evening could reach out to guest services to reschedule visits. None of the animals were affected by the flooding, officials said.

According to FOX 5, vehicles parked in a lot at Northside Drive and Martin Luther King Jr. Drive were washed away in the flash flood and wound up in a parking lot near Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

There was also heavy street flooding around the Atlanta University Center, which required swift-water rescue boats to be deployed. Cars could be seen in piles along numerous streets in the area, covered in mud from the floodwater.

Clark Atlanta University said it was moving students to new lodgings after some of its dorm buildings were flooded in the storm. Donations are being accepted to help the students impacted by the storm, according to an Instagram post from the college.

Mayor Andre Dickens issued a statement on the flooding:

“The Administration has deployed the full resources of the City to address the flash flooding incidents after heavy rain across the metro area. Our Department of Watershed Management has reported that intense storm fronts and hail moved through several communities. Preliminary rain gauges have shown three hours’ worth of rain in just 15 minutes in some areas of downtown. While some are still struggling with flooding issues, most flooding areas are receding.

“I’ve also called AUC Presidents, as well as Georgia Tech and Georgia State University, to check on students, faculty and staff to offer our full support.

“Thank you to our first responders, the Atlanta Fire Rescue Department, Atlanta Police Department, our E-911 personnel, Department of Watershed Management, Department of Public Works and everyone in our community pitching in to make sure we protect, care for and love on the people of Atlanta in emergency situations that occur every day.”

Collin Kelley has been the editor of Atlanta Intown for two decades and has been a journalist and freelance writer for 35 years. He’s also an award-winning poet and novelist.