Lee Co. tries to drain rainwater - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Lee Co. tries to drain rainwater

By Jennifer Emert - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) –Some south Georgians are pretty ticked off after drainage systems near their homes were overwhelmed by heavy rain.

That led to standing water around homes and sewage in some yards in Lee County.

Public Works crews there spent the day pumping water from around homes.
Public works crews say they would normally use a pump to clear out some of the water at the corner of Highway 19 and Robert B. Lee in Leesburg, but with the ground saturated, it's got no where to go.

 Storm water poured from drains unable to handle the volume.   "A lot of ditches are full, the holding ponds are full," said Leesburg Police Chief Charles Moore.

With the ground saturated and no where for the water to go it collected in areas like Highway 19 and 32 and spilled into the parking lot at the Flash Foods.

"Right here at public works we got six inches of rain here," said Mike Sistrunk, Lee Co. Public Works Interim Manager.

It caused police officers to hydroplane and need a tow.  In Leesburg, waters were knee deep around the Stonegate Manor Apartments forcing many to move cars before they were trapped.

"I'm beyond frustrated at this point, I'm downright mad, thought about picketing," said Connie Justice, Stonegate Manor Resident.

This isn't the first time water's forced sewage to back up in yards.

"If you go to the back of my house it's nothing but toilet paper and waste everywhere in the back, it smells, it's nasty, how safe is it? said Justice.

Crews prepared sandbags in the rain and in the county they were pumping water away from some homes and asking everyone to have a little patience.

"I've got here probably about 65 work orders that have been called in this morning concerned about the weather, concerned about the rain,"  said Sistrunk.

Both the city and county have been working to fix drainage ditches to better handle storm runoff, but the work has been put on hold because of the weather.

Public Works is urging motorists to be careful as they travel, especially on Lee County's dirt roads.  They worry many roads could be washed out in areas and with nightfall those areas could be tricky to see. They urge motorists not to disregard barriers that have been put up.

Leesburg Public Works has made sand bags available for city residents at the city garage on Highway 195.  Lee County Public Works took a great many calls Thursday.  Crews worked through lunch, and they say they'll eventually get to all of the work orders.

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