Residents near the Kinchafoonee watch nervously - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Residents near the Kinchafoonee watch nervously

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By Jay Polk - bio | email

LEE COUNTY, GA (WALB) – Normally, Kinchafoonee Creek in Lee County is a nice place to live.  That is, until the heavy rains come.  The recent rains that have turned streets into streams and pecan groves into ponds have turned the Kinchafoonee into a torrent that threatens to swallow docks and yards.

Even though the rain is not as heavy as it was last year - when 20" of the wet stuff made the creek burst out of its banks - there's another problem.

"The soil profile is full, the catchment basins are full, the little feeder streams have got water in them, so there's no place for the water to stack up," said Doug Wilson, Executive Director of the Georgia Water Planning and Policy Center. 

And with nowhere for any heavy rainfall to go.  The creek itself can go from calm to raging in a hurry.

Wilson said, "the impact would be greater now with all the water that's already in the system."

That means that over the next couple of days, residents here will be checking on both the creek and on something else.

If you live along a creek like the Kinchafoonee, you might think that your homeowners insurance would cover any damage that might occur in a flood.  If that's the case and flooding does occur, you might be in for a bit of a surprise.

That's because standard homeowners insurance has one drawback.

Al Hunter, a State Farm agent in Albany said, "it doesn't cover the rising water."

Which means that separate insurance is needed to cover water damage like some South Georgians saw last year.  The National Flood Insurance Program is designed to help people who are flooded out when the rivers rage.  For an few extra dollars: "700 to 1200 depending on what level you are, what flood zone."

People here can buy a policy that covers up to $50000 of losses from flooding.  And while it may not happen all that often, even areas away from rivers, creeks and streams can see water damage.

"On Dawson Road in '94 water made it all the way to those streets.  And Dawson Road is a good piece from any river," Hunter said.

Residents here, like those along other waterways around South Georgia, have learned that rising waters are part of the price of living on the creek.  So they'll continue to keep an eye on the creek and hope that it doesn't get too far over its banks this time.

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