The Flood of the Century, a decade later - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

The Flood of the Century, a decade later

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July 6, 2004

Albany-- Ten years ago today was the first serious day of the Flood of 94. Tropical Storm Alberto had come ashore three days earlier. It stalled over south Georgia, and dumped as much as two feet of rain in 24 hours. We woke up on July 6th to a disaster.

In the early morning hours of July 6th, dams throughout Sumter County broke. They turned peaceful ponds and creeks into killer rivers. Dozens of roads washed away.

Fifteen people died. "I went around and cut through the woods and dove in and swam out and climbed on top of the car," said Mark, who tried to help others. "By the time I'd arrived there was about a 60 or 70 year old woman had drowned or suffocated in the back seat of the car."

The raging Muckaloochee Creek swept away parts of Smithville. For the first time, our news cameras caught rescues on tape, a sign of things to come. In Lee County, the Kinchafoonee and Muckalee creeks jumped their banks. The Flint River began to rise rapidly in Albany and the city ordered evacuations.

Dave Nethers reported: "Albany State college was evacuated at noon..." As the day ended, workers and volunteers descended on Albany State College hoping to save it from the rising water.

 It wouldn't be long before we realized that work was fruitless. The Flood of the Century was only just beginning.

Each night for the next two weeks, we'll take a look back ten years in a Floodwatch Flashback, part of our ongoing coverage of the tenth anniversary of the Flood of 1994.

posted at 11:40AM by dave.miller@walb.com