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Screven County dam fails

NWS: Trees being swept across Ga. 17

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A dam holding back a Screven County lake failed late Saturday night, authorities reported.

Shortly after 11 p.m., the National Weather Service in Charleston, S.C., reported that the dam at an 80-acre, 24-foot-deep irrigation lake owned by Herbert Jacobs failed, sending large trees sweeping across Georgia Highway 17 in Screven County, near Old Ogeechee Road, just north of the Ogeechee River.

The service said this was confirmed by Screven County Emergency Management.

The lake is on Highway 17 near the Cooperville, Dover and Rocky Ford communities. Heavy rainfall every day for almost two weeks, followed by more rain Saturday as a storm system moved through the area, caused the dam to erode.

Highway 17, also known as Scarboro Highway, is closed between Old Ogeechee Road and Douglas Branch Road. U.S. Highway 301 near Cooperville also is closed.

Residents of the area were advised to evacuate. Several roads were closed for flooding, including Bernard Smith Road near Mallard Pond Road, and Lakeview Road near Clito.

The weather service issued a revised flash flood warning after the dam failed saying the Ogeechee River will rise rapidly, and homes in the Dover area will be the first to see flooding conditions. Interests downstream along the Bulloch-Screven line could experience even more flooding than has already occurred because of the recent rains, the service said.

Also, a flash flood watch has been extended through 6 a.m. Sunday in southeast South Carolina and southeast Georgia, including Bulloch and Screven counties, because numerous showers and thunderstorms expected in the area, which could bring 1-2 inches in portions of the area. Rainfall amounts could be significantly higher in localized areas where showers and storms are slow-moving.

Check with for updates on Sunday.


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