August 11, 2004
South Georgia-- Worth County School officials are waiting to see if the weather will be bad enough to close schools.
One of their major concerns is that 20% of the children who depend on the bus to get school live in neighborhoods with dirt roads. Dirt roads that can create hazardous conditions for school buses. “They are dirt roads and they are not reenforced and they are not paved,” said Worth Co. Superintendent Dr. Gary Russell. “So there is a chance for them to get stuck and create issues to try to get them out of there.”
Ashburn city officials say if heavy rains hit their area, parts of downtown could be in danger of flooding. They say drainage pipes in a small area of downtown aren't big enough to handle more than one to two inches of heavy rain. "The storm drainage system can't move that amount of water fast enough," says Ashburn's Mayor Bob Hunnicutt.
Hunnicutt says the city plans to replace the small pipes by the end of the year to avoid flooding dangers.
Emergency crews in Lowndes County are prepared to handle whatever damage Bonnie may bring. First responders and disaster relief volunteers met to discuss emergency response plans. At 4:00AM, the county will open an Emergency Operations and Incident Command Center at the 911 center.
All agencies have extra crews on stand-by and are making preparations for heavy rains and high winds. "As an example, the city of Valdosta has lowered the pond there on Jerry Jones Road because of the anticipation of accumulation of additional water from the rain so they've taken steps like that," says EMA Director Nick Lacey.
Lowndes County could see winds of up to 30 miles per hour and is expected to get about 3 to 5 inches of rain.
Be sure to watch WALB News 10 Thursday to find out if bad weather may affect school schedules.
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