Sumter County doesn't take Ivan lightly - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Sumter County doesn't take Ivan lightly

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September 14, 2004

Americus-- Department heads county wide are meeting now with telephone companies, hospitals and schools to iron out their emergency plan. Something is also being asked of Sumter County citizens.

The Muckalee Creek is already a problem. "The Muckalee Creek is already over its banks, so we are anticipating that problem will get worse," says City Administrator Charlotte Cotton.

A problem that Americus City Administrator is two steps ahead of; a lesson learned from the Flood of 1994. "We are real lucky that we had that experience, not lucky it occurred, but lucky to have that under our belts."

They learned to block off streets that could flood, like low-lying Spring Street. "What we will do differently is we will barricade the streets where we know in the Flood of '94 the streets were covered with water we will do that."

Another street that proved deadly in the Flood of '94-- "SunValley Drive is a low lying area and a residential area and even with a small amount of rain the water stands in the ditches so we will be watching that area very closely."

Besides barricading streets, storm drains and gutters are being cleaned of debris. But if Ivan's rains and winds hit hard, there is one thing Sumter County residents can do. "When Ivan does come through, when the weather does get bad, just stay at home."

In the Flood of 1994, many of the people who died in Americus were swept away on flooded streets. Emergency officials do not want people to be driving on the roads unless it is absolutely necessary.

posted at 4:05PM by dave.miller@walb.com