Heavy rains from thunderstorms flooded a key stretch of metro Atlanta’s freeway system Wednesday afternoon, slowing traffic to a stand-still near downtown just as the evening rush hour was ramping up.Street drains along the Downtown Connector were clogged, resulting in standing water near the Freedom Parkway exit. Crews worked to clear the drains so that traffic could flow more freely, authorities said.

Severe Weather Team 2 meteorologist David Chandley said the storms produced heavy downpours and frequent cloud-to-ground lightning.

The Downtown Connector — which funnels traffic on Interstate 75 and I-85 through Atlanta’s downtown and midtown areas –is a major north-south thoroughfare through the heart of the city.

Chandley said another round of showers and T-storms are expected Thursday, and will be widely scattered. The pattern looks locked in through the weekend, he said.