Flood mitigation still a work in progress - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Flood mitigation still a work in progress

By Karen Cohilas - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) – Storm drainage improvements are working in Dougherty County, but last week's heavy rain showed the problems still exist.

After heavy flooding last spring, the county made some changes to prevent future flooding. Last spring, 49 areas in the county had trouble with flooding after more than 15 inches of rain fell in some areas.

The county introduced a flood mitigation plan to prevent any further problems. So far, the steps they've taken have proven helpful.

Last year, the Dougherty County commission approved $650,000 for storm drainage improvements. Work that's already been performed is holding its own.

Public Works director Larry Cook said, "It worked out great. We had a chance to check our drainage facility on Antioch Rd. Our pumps worked fine, our force main worked fine, we're able to pull that water down before it was able to get up in any of the yards, so it's worked fine."

One of the priorities is Mockingbird Drive, a place that had major flood issues in the spring. But even without those improvements, this area made it through last week's rainfall without any problems.

Cook said, "Mockingbird pond itself is fine. It's at a normal pool. We do have some upgrades coming to that."

But one area where creeping flood water made an appearance last week was Radial subdivision. Unfortunately, Public Works Director Larry Cook says not a lot can be done to prevent flooding there.

One of the sources of flooding is from Piney Wood Creek, but the county can't just go in and clean it out, it must first get permission from the EPD, the Army Corps of Engineers and private property owners.

Cook said, "And even with a rain coming down 4-6 inches coming down as quick as it did, back to the East of us, we're still going to, if we clean that Creek Basin, there's still going to be some buildup of water . That creek basin is just not adequate to handle all the water coming through there."

But the water is gone again today, and didn't make it inside homes this time, and homeowners hope it won't make it in again.

Dougherty County public works has so far spent $73,000 on storm drainage improvements. Another $577,000 is budgeted for this year. That money only covers the first 11 problem areas the county has set as priority.

There are 48 total projects, which will cost about $2.2 million dollars to correct.

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