Albany -- South Georgia cities and towns are preparing for the heavy rains and high winds that Hurricane Frances could bring our way.
A Dougherty County excavator dredges out the drainage canal at Tenth Avenue and Argonne Drive. They are cleaning up the canal, in case Frances dumps inches or even feet of rain water on Albany.
County Open Drainage Maintenance Supervisor David Minnick said "If you can't keep the water flowing, if it stands in one area, it accumulates and backs up, and that's when your problems start."
Dougherty County has nearly 30 miles of drainage canals, and the crews are making sure they are clean as possible. The city's master plan preparation for Hurricanes is underway.
72 hours before expected impact, the plan calls for Street sweepers to clean the roads. John Reid said "All the leaves and pine straw off the street, to keep it from stopping up the catch basins. If we don't do that, a lot of times that stuff will get down in the catch base and stop up and cause the street to flood out."
Albany's master plan was developed with hard lessons learned in the floods of 1994 and 1998. Albany Public Works Director Phil Roberson said "If we have upwards of ten, twelve, thirteen inches of rain, we are going to put in place everything we can to make sure we don't have some of the problems we had back in '94 and '98."
That experience and these peoples' work will hopefully make a difference-- when the effects of Hurricane Frances are felt in South Georgia.
Roberson says public works employees expect to stay busy around the clock until the danger of Hurricane Frances passes.