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Rainfall, flooding causes road closures

   Bulloch County citizens are warned to watch for flooding after rain clouds dumped several inches of water over the area this past weekend.
    Two county roads were closed Monday after torrential rains over the past few days flooded creeks and waterways.
    At the Bulloch County Public Safety office on Hwy. 301 North, “We have had close to 30 inches of rain this year,” Bulloch County Public Safety Director Ted Wynn said Monday evening. “Seven (inches) … was within the last 48 hours. There may be more inches recorded in some other areas of the county.”
    Roads closed Monday due to rainfall and flooding were a portion of “Ponderosa Road between Bay Gall and Womack Road, and W. Rushing Road,” he said.  “Water was running over Sinkhole Road at Lotts Creek earlier” Monday, but was expected to have subsided.
    Ponderosa and W. Rushing roads will be closed until sometime this morning, he said.  
    Jonathan Lamb, meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Charleston, S.C., said “an unusual weather pattern” is causing the deluge, and things look to be wet through the rest of the week.
    “It is an unusual weather pattern with very deep moisture streaming in out of the Gulf of Mexico,” he said. “An upper trough has parked over the eastern United States for the past several days and will last through Tuesday” before moving west. Rainfall chances will lessen after Wednesday, he said.
    According to the National Weather Service website (www.noaa.gov), a flash flood watch will remain for Bulloch County, as well as surrounding areas, until 6 p.m. tonight.
    Heavy rains can be expected, from 2” to 4”, with possibly up to 6 “as the weather system continues. The website offered advice to people driving in possibly flooded areas: be safe.
    The rainy weather is “not expected to change any time soon,” Wynn said. His advice is to turn around if water is over a roadway, because flood waters can rise very quickly and overtake a vehicle.
    Citizens should “pay attention to signs and barricades.  Don’t ignore them by driving past them,” he said. While it is unlikely for local creeks and waterways to rise enough to pose a serious danger, trying to drive through flooded roads can stall your engine. Also, roadways underneath running water can be eroded or collapse, he said.
        Citizens should report any road that is flooded to (912) 489-1661 or (912) 764-6217 any time of day so the Bulloch County Transportation Department can be notified, he said.
      
    Holli Deal Bragg may be reached at (912) 489-9414.

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