Man reflects on Atlanta floods and 1994 destruction in Lee County - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Man reflects on Atlanta floods and 1994 destruction in Lee County

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By Tayleigh Davis - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - Flash floods are the number one weather-related killer in the United States. That's a lesson south Georgians learned in 1994. Record floods killed more than 30 people 15 years ago in July.

Days of pounding rain forced the Chattooga River to breach a levee that protects the town of Trion. Crews are working to fortify the levee while hundreds of people evacuate their homes.

It's a familiar story to Dennis and Martha Eldridge who experienced the flash floods of 1994 that destroyed their home and many others in Lee and Dougherty counties. Flash flooding rushed into their home on a Foxworth drive which was right off Kinchafoonee Creek Drive.

" Oh man there were folks everywhere hustling," Dennis Eldridge said " A gentleman came up Kinchafoonee Creek Road and he said Creekside Drive was underwater."

He sorts through his pictures to show how the water line came up to the windows, ransacked his bedroom, and flooded his backyard for days.

He says the flood came so quick, in a matter of hours, he just didn't have enough time to prepare. His family was also out of town when it happened.

" They were in awe at the power of the flood," Eldridge said.

Eldridge remembers one of his scariest memories was seeing the Kinchafoonee Creek flood into his backyard creating a strong current, and destroying his neighbor's home.

Eldridge understands what people in North Georgia are going through as rushing water turns deadly there, destroying homes, washing out roads, and making it difficult for people just to get around.

The Georgia Emergency Agency says two feet of water can float a car. That's why GEMA says to turn around when drivers come to a flooded area, and never drive through because the current may be much stronger than it appears. Just six inches of rushing water can knock a person down, so emergency crews urge people to stay away from flood waters at all times.

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