Waters recede as weather lightens

Photo by Barry Levine

Photo by Barry Levine

ALBANY -- Area emergency management personnel said Friday waters from Kinchafoonee Creek, Muckalee Creek and the Flint River are receding.

That's good news for many Lee County residents who have evacuated their homes along the creeks due to water damage.

"Both creeks have been dropping steadily," said Capt. Kelly Harcrow of the Lee County Fire Department. "The Kinchafoonee has dropped about a foot."

Harcrow said many Lee County residents were spared more flood damage because of the rain patterns Friday.

"It was a steady light rain, not a heavy rain," he said. "It worked out favorably."

However, EMA officials were warned Friday that area counties were not out of the woods yet.

"It remains to be seen how much we will be affected by the rain," said Jim Vaught, Albany-Dougherty EMA Deputy Director.

He said that although the rainfall may not have had a significant impact on water, the ground is still saturated.

"The good news is that we're not going to have another rain event for three days," said Vaught. "The National Weather Service is forecasting sunny skies and cool weather."

While the forecast may seem nice, the National Weather Service warned emergency management personnel that the waters may eventually rise again.

"They (NWS) are predicting the Flint will rise from 16.9 feet to 18.62 feet on Sunday," said Vaught. "The Kinchafoonee is expected to rise from 13.5 feet to 15.9 Saturday afternoon, with the Muckalee rising to 14.96 feet from 12.5 feet Saturday night."

Vaught said Albany and Dougherty County have experienced minor flooding in Ramsey and Radial subdivisions, but do not foresee any major complications.

Public Works said they are not currently pumping anywhere due to the holding ponds absorbing most of the overflow.

Harcrow said Lee County officials are currently trying to collect as much data as possible from homeowners who have received damage.

"We are asking anyone who has suffered damage to call us so we can get your information," he said. "We are in the process of trying to apply for GEMA (Georgia Emergency Management Agency) funds."

Harcrow said many Lee County residents still cannot return to their homes and several roads remain closed.

The National Weather Service announced Friday afternoon that freezing temperatures are in the forecast for the weekend with lows in

the 20s and highs in the 50s.