Joy Court residents nervously watch holding pond -, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Joy Court residents nervously watch holding pond

By Jim Wallace - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) –Sumter County Sheriff's and Public Works officials continue to monitor holding ponds and dams closely tonight.

Heavy rain last night caused flash flooding and forced the closure of about a dozen roads.

Several people in a senior citizens community in Americus were evacuated because of rushing water.  Victoria Waters shows me how high the water rushing through her yard and past her home was last night.  Waters said "It was moving real fast and it was deep."

Heavy rain caused this holding pond across Hosanna Circle to overflow, and rush into the duplexes of Joy Court. Several senior citizens like Artis Brown were evacuated because of the rushing water blocking the street, but the water never got into any homes. Waters did not evacuate, but said she could not sleep.

Waters said "I was concerned it might rise and then a dam might bust. So I just stayed up. I didn't want to get caught in the middle."

 The heavy rain forced the Muckalee Creek to rise, and knocked this tree on top of the Mack Little Bridge. The road was closed Monday night, but was open again Tuesday. About a dozen roads across the county were barricaded to keep drivers from plowing into water, like South Georgia Tech Parkway and Lamar Road. The water receded quickly, and only Brickyard Road remained closed Tuesday.

But Sumter County is saturated.   Water is running deep in the ditches beside roadways, and standing in puddles across the county. Sheriff's Office and Public Works officials are watching the holding ponds and dams, and today worked to get ready in case of another heavy rain.

Sumter County Sheriff's Office Colonel Eric Bryant said "Account for all our barricades and road barriers that were utilized last night. Also we have pulled some out of storage just in case we need additional barricades for tonight. If the rain decides to do what it did last night."

Victoria Waters says she is also keeping an eye on the weather, worried another heavy rain could bring another flash flood.

Waters said "I don't need to pack. I'm just going to go. If it gets too high, I'm going. I can get the material things back. If I lose something I can always get it back."

Because Waters knows another heavy rain like last night, and that holding pond could overflow its banks again.

Colonel Bryant says people in Sumter County have learned from past weather tragedies like the Flood of 94, and last year's Tornado.  He says when emergency officials put out a warning or recommend evacuation, the people usually act quickly.

Colonel Bryant says his Deputies and Public Works officials will be on alert, and ready to move quickly if there's more trouble.

One woman who lives on Joy Court Road was at work Monday night when her home was blocked off because of rushing water. She wasn't able to get home until this afternoon.

Dorothy Laster spent the night in a motel, after neighbors called and told her about the flash flooding blocking her street.

She's thankful her home did not have any water inside but is still worried about the holding pond across the street that overflowed.

Laster said "Yes, because it's a chance that it might come back again. We've had it happen one time before, the pond ran over."

Laster and several other people who live on Joy Court Road say they hope city officials can do something to repair the holding pond, so it will not overflow again.

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