15 year anniversary of South Georgia flood - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

15 year anniversary of South Georgia flood

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The Flood of '94 forced thousands of people from their homes and caused hundreds of millions of dollars in damage as creeks and the Flint River reached record levels.

Talking with dozens of people, remembering back 15 years to the Flood. They all had one special moment they remember most about the waters that spread across huge portions of Albany and the region, and almost everyone of them said they and South Georgia has come back even better after the tragedy.

June Bug Griffin says he will never forget July 7th, 1994, and the three feet of flood water in his Tremont Avenue home.

Griffin said "It was probably in here as high as it got right here."

Tropical Storm Alberto dropped more than two feet of rain across much of Georgia, causing creeks and the river to overflow. Flood waters covered thousands of homes and businesses, doing millions of dollars in damage. Griffin lost his home, his business, and rental houses.

Griffin said "Once it was over, it was one of the best things that ever happened to me."

Griffin rebuilt and expanded his store, and after three years his home was finally repaired.

Griffin said "The people when they built back, they added on. They built back plus more. So yes, it was one of the best things that happened to the community."

Dean of Education Dr. Wil Campbell remembers almost every building at Albany State University was flooded.

Campbell said "I had about 8 feet of flood water in my office."

But from the flood Albany State took on their slogan, back bigger, better, stronger. The University built five new buildings to replace those too damaged to save. And since then the new campus has grown by 11 new buildings, and enrollment has increased to record highs.

Campbell said "it was devastating. And everyone says it was a blessing for Albany State. And it certainly was a blessing. But I would say without a doubt, we don't need any more blessings like that. laughter"

Griffin said it was the spirit Albany showed during the flood, neighbor helping neighbor, that is his favorite memory.

Griffin said "If anything happened in Albany, I just believe we'd definitely come back together. And do it all over again."

The Flood of 94 was classified a 500 year flood event.

Just four years later, and another major flood hit the same area, but it wasn't quite so severe.