Kinchafoonee nearly four feet above flood stage - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Kinchafoonee nearly four feet above flood stage

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By  Stephanie Springer  - bio | email

LEE CO., GA (WALB) – No homes have flooded and the Kinchafoonee is expected to crest tomorrow right at 18 feet.  While low lying areas are flooding, no water has gotten into any homes-- so far.

Creekside Drive one of the first places to flood when the river rises. Just a couple houses up the street, water from the creek is already pouring into people's front yards. But some people I spoke with say they are getting quite used to preparing for these high water levels.

"We move things up in the porch and into the house wherever you have to go," said Rick Wheeler, who lives on the creek.

Wheeler has preparing for a flood down to a science. "I actually forgot the lawn furniture and had to go get it out of the yard."

He's seen water pour into his yard several times throughout the years..but he doesn't get worried, he just embraces it. "We sit on the back porch  and watch it like a lightening storm, and watch the water go by."

Something Wheeler says you should get used to if you live along the creek.  "If you want to live here this is what you got to do, it's a hurricane if you live in Florida and a tornado if you live in Kansas."

Ironically, this time last December, residents near the Kinchafoonee creek were experiencing the same thing., the fourth one in less than two years.

Last December, the creek crested at 17 and a quarter feet.

"If their predictions run true were looking at a foot more water, vertical rise," said Lee County EMA Director James Howell.

 Howell says if water got into your house last December then it will probably get in your house this time, too. "At 18 and a quarter if that forecast holds true this will certainly be one of the worst ones we've had in recent years."

Howell says several people will be affected by the high water in different ways. "If this 18 foot prediction holds true, then yes we are expecting water will get in a few houses and its already creeping over some roads. At this point we have water over the road at one point and that's on creek side drive."

But For Wheeler and many others..its just a way of life. "We just take the boat, tie it to the front porch and drive it back and forth."

And wait for the water to go back down.

If you see water in a road, do not drive on it. I actually made the mistake today and had to have someone tow me out. Emergency officials say even if you can see the bottom of the road, don't trust it because it could be washout, and every year people make the fatal mistake.

The river is supposed to crest Wednesday.