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More rain on the way
Ted Wynn: Be prepared for possible flooding in low areas
121609 POPE RD FLOOD 04
A mail carrier makes his way onto T.E. Glisson Road from Pope Road Wednesday. Rain has made the road nearly impassable for area residents. According to www.noaa.gov, there is a 100 percent chance of rain today. Safety Director Ted Wynn advises residents in low-lying areas to be prepared for possible flooding. - photo by SCOTT BRYANT/staff
    With the ground already saturated and local creeks filled to almost overflowing, the heavy rainfall expected today won't be good news to those in low-lying areas or living on some of Bulloch County's sloppy dirt roads.
    The National Weather Service Web site (www.noaa.gov) predicts 100 percent chance of rain today, with up to two inches of precipitation possible for the area. Savannah weatherman Pat Prokop said areas of the southeast could get up to a whopping four inches today, and Bulloch County Public Safety Director Ted Wynn said well over two inches of rain is likely today.
    When water is already puddled in ditches and creek banks are threatening to overflow, the rainfall spells trouble in place such as Cleary Road in Brooklet,  or Pope Road in Stilson.
    Several roads were closed or reported to be under water last week, and the couple days of sunshine since  then has done little to dry things out, Wynn said. "It's going to be devastating to some of these roads, I'm sure.”
    He warns residents to be prepared for possible flooding of low-lying areas, and said there will likely be areas where roads are washed out, impassable due to mud bogs or water over the roadway.
    "Bulloch County Public Safety will be on standby," he said. "We will be ready to respond if needed." If someone is stranded due to impassable roads, county workers will assist in any way possible, he said.
    But, keep in mind, there is little the county can do regarding messy dirt roads that are impossible to travel, because while the ground is saturated, getting a motor grader in to scrape is impossible, he said.
    That's not what some Pope Road residents want to hear. Last week, county workers hauled in gravel and concrete scraps to help fill in a large bog hole that formed on Pope Road near Sanders Road, said Kriss Bigbie.
    "Highway 119 at Pope Road at the Bryan/Bulloch County line has been flooded now about a week," she said in an e-mail to a Statesboro Herald reporter. "My mother has lived down this road since 1991 and flooding has never been a problem... for over a week it has rained and flooded the roads to the point that no one can get in or out of their homes."
    Harley Dickerson, 64, has been staying with relatives in Rincon because he can't get to his house because of the roadway. "I have a serious heart condition and there's no way an ambulance could get to me on that road," he said. "They say the only thing that can get in now is a four-wheel drive, and after all this rain (today) I don't think I'd even try it in a four-wheel drive."
    Billy Morgan also lives on Pope Road, and said he hopes the rain today doesn't ruin efforts to make the road passable. "Everybody's been stuck," he said. "I got a running start to cross (the bog hole) in my truck, but the next day I saw where a truck was stuck sideways."
    Living on roads made impassable by weather can bring life to a standstill, Bigbie said. "I'm finding out that now, kids can't go to school, the mail truck cannot deliver, the elderly cannot get their meds ...  this is ridiculous.   I'm not sure if my mother will ever be able to go to her home."
    Dickerson said he plans to move and sell his property because of the bad roads. "I love my home, but I can't put up with this anymore," he said.
    The National Weather Service predicted rain all day today for Bulloch County, with a high near 47 degrees. Tonight, ran will continue until at least 10 p.m., with temperatures lowering to around 39 degrees. Weather conditions are expected to clear Saturday.
     Holli Deal Bragg may be reached at 489-9414.


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