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Flood stage threshold rises

ALBANY, Ga. -- The National Weather Service has decided to raise the city's flood stage on the Flint River by six feet.

NWS's Weather Forecast Office in Tallahassee and the Southeast River Forecast Center in Peachtree City will change the flood stage from its current level -- 20 feet -- to 26 feet on Jan. 11.

According to a news release, weather officials cited the city's efforts to mitigate flood hazards as one of the main reasons for the increase.

The change means that the two agencies believe that the Flint River must now reach 26 feet before there is significant threat to life or property damage from floodwaters.

According to the 90-page Albany-Dougherty Flood Hazard Mitigation Plan, the document has three main objectives:

1. To provide governments with a focused planning tool for reducing losses due to flooding;

2. To meet Federal Emergency Management Agency guidelines to qualify for Flood Mitigation Assistance Funding for projects that will reduce losses;

3. To meet Community Rating System planning requirements for Category C repetitive loss communities and maintain in good standing with the National Flood Insurance Program.

The full plan is located on the Albany-Dougherty Planning Department's web page.