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River flooding expected as more rain falls
flood
Submerged vehicles can be seen on the Effingham side of the Ogeechee River Wednesday at Captain William Cone Bridge. More rain is expected after the river has been in flood stage for more than a week.

Over the past two weeks, some spots in Bulloch County have been drenched with up to 12 inches of rain, and the rivers and creeks are beginning to escape their banks.

A couple of roads were closed due to being partially underwater Wednesday, and many farmers are unable to get tractors into their fields to prepare for planting season. It could get worse over the next few days, said Bulloch County Public Safety/EMA Director Ted Wynn.

The National Weather Service predicts two or more inches of rainfall through the upcoming weekend, and on top of the water that is already standing in ditches and flooding creeks and rivers, the excess rain might pose a problem, he said.

Water spilled across the roads at W.O. Peacock, Old Portal and Buie Driggers roads Wednesday, causing the county public works department to close the roads. Wynn said crews are inspecting other areas in the county to monitor whether closure is necessary.

The Ogeechee River has risen to above flood stage at the Eden landing near the Bulloch/Bryan county line and has overtaken the banks at the Rocky Ford landing, although National Weather Service meteorologist Blaine Holloway said measurements recorded do not reflect flood stage yet. However, the Ogeechee at Rocky Ford landing is “close to flood stage and is expected to rise,” he said. Wednesday morning, the water level had covered the boat ramp and was flowing around the “public river landing” sign in the parking area.

Holloway said the Ogeechee River at Eden measured 15 feet Wednesday, which is in the moderate flood stage range.

Additional rainfall upstream as well as locally through the end of the week and weekend is expected and could push the river and adjacent creeks over the banks, he said.

As of Wednesday, however, no one had reported any serious damage or hardships, Wynn said.

“The people who live on the river know what it is capable of and know how to handle (flooding),” he said. “We have had no calls for assistance.”

He does not expect any river landings to be closed. However, he does warn residents to be safe and responsible and not to drive through water-covered areas.

Should residential areas be flooded to the point that they are uninhabitable, Bulloch County would open shelters for those displaced, he said.

 

Herald reporter Holli Deal Saxon may be reached at (912) 489-9414.

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