Hurricane Season is on the way - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Hurricane Season is on the way

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By Jay Polk - bio | email

DOUGHERTY COUNTY, GA (WALB) – The 2010 Hurricane Season is about to begin.  And experts are saying it could be a bad one.

That means that South Georgia residents like Jack Ivey will be keeping a keen eye on the forecast for the next few months.

[CG at 0:22:NameJack IveyLee County Resident]

[CG at 1:06:NameLarry CookDougherty County Public Works]

Ivey feels the same way as many people who live along the water in South Georgia.

"It's been a wonderful adventure," he said.

But there's a tradeoff for having such a nice view:  flooding.

While flooding can occur any time of the year, summer can feature the one type of storm that makes people nervous:  hurricanes.

While they wouldn't seem to be a threat to us, everyone who was in South Georgia remembers the devastating floods of 1994. Certainly Ivey does.

"I had 21 feet of water and it came up in about 20 minutes," he said.

It was all caused by rains from Tropical Storm Alberto, which dumped nearly 30" of the wet stuff to the north of the area. For Ivey, it was a loss of monumental proportions.  How much?  "$240,000," he said.

If the experts are correct, there will be plenty of nervous moments this summer. The team at Colorado State University predicts an above normal season, and forecasters at Accu-Weather are predicting a potential top ten season for activity.

The reason for all of the dire predictions?

A forecasted breakdown of the persistent El Nino pattern that has kept storm numbers smaller than normal for the last two years. If the season is as active as expected, Public Works will be very busy. They're part of the team response when a storm threatens.

Larry Cook, the Director of Dougherty County Public Works said, "we sit in on the webinar. So we get first hand updates from the National Weather Service."

Their response is based not only on the forecast, but the weather that took place before the storm threatened. In drier weather, they'll check pipes like these to make sure that they're not clogged. But one step is a must.

"Typically, we go to our drainage ponds and pull those down to hold as much capacity as we could," said Cook.

But while Public Works does it's best to get the water out of the streets as quickly as possible, from there it goes to the river. And the river may not be in any hurry to send it back to the Gulf of Mexico.

"The river is going to take care of its own timeline as far as moving the water," said Cook.

So for residents along rivers, creeks and streams, they'll be hoping that nature won't be in any hurry to send them these type of storms anytime soon.

And Dougherty County Public Works told me that they try to be pro-active. They're working on a project right now down on Nichols Ave. which will hopefully alleviate some of the flooding that occurs with heavy rain in the Radium Springs area.

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