Tift County roads were underwater Thursday - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Tift County roads were underwater Thursday

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By Jennifer Emert - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - Nearly four inches of rain since Thursday morning caused flash flooding across Tifton and Tift County.

Both Animals and people had to be evacuated from homes across the county and city. All emergency services were pressed into action as crews went door to door encouraging resident in low-lying areas to get out.

Some areas of Tifton weren't fit for man nor beast. J. L. Jordan was already evacuating when law enforcement came by his Marion Drive home encouraging him to evacuate.

"I'm trying to take everything that I can save, my cars, I'm trying to get them out of the way," said J.L. Jordan, Flash flood victim.

A trip down the driveway proved unsuccessful. Deep waters forced his neighbor's dog onto Jordan's porch. Animal control was also in south Tifton where a mother dog and her two small puppies had to be rescued from fast rising waters.

"Getting them out of the water because you see right here how this is almost waste deep now," said Regenia Wells, Tifton-Tift County Animal Control Director.

The force of the water under South Central Avenue could be heard clearly through the rain as the stream backed up flooding a house at 2109 South Central and Do-Rite Battery. Rescue teams used boats to rescue some of the elderly.

"We've actually took the boat or vehicle and backed up to the doors and tried to assist them the best we could," said John Domagala, Rescue team member.

While neighborhood streets like Golden and Britain Roads looked more like spillways than thoroughfares.

"Plenty of water, we got a lot of overflowed ditches," said Domagala.

Crews say it's simply a matter of time and a break from the rains that's needed, to clean up the mess mother nature's caused. Many roadways in Tift County and Tifton remain closed this evening.

Emergency personnel are urging drivers not to go out this evening unless its absolutely necessary.

As flash flood waters swallowed up homes in Tifton and Tift County, emergency officials turned to whatever resources they could find to keep people safe. School buses were pressed into service to help evacuate people.

They sat at the ready at the Tift County Community Service Center. Drivers were prepared to transport evacuees to safety. Inside the center, a few evacuees like Shandis Grant and her three children found a hot meal.

"Our yard it's like we had a little pond on the side and it flooded coming in on our side of the house and the ambulance said we had to get out before it got any worse," said Shandis Grant, an evacuee.

"We got a call about 10:30 and we were told we needed to come down to the Community Center and sit and assist in the evacuation of anybody that needed to be transported," said Shelia Bryant.

Three additional shelters were set up by the American Red Cross at the First Baptist Church in TyTy, Mott Litman Gym, and Tifton First Methodist Church where 10 evacuees spent Thursday afternoon. Those shelters will remain open all night.

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