Question of the day: How high? - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Question of the day: How high?

Albany-- The Flint River is still rising in Dougherty County, and flood waters are already threatening some homes in Radium Springs.

The Greenway Trail, running along the Riverfront Park downtown, is already underwater. The Flint River is expected to crest around 1:00 AM Wednesday, at about 12 feet above the flood stage. That will flood many yards and streets and maybe some homes.

The water of the Flint River is already flooding the garbage and basement of Tom Gentle's home, next to Radium Springs. He called in the help of a friend to retrieve some of his things now floating in his backyard.

"We're watching that very closely," says EMA Director Jim Vaught, who says Gentle's home is not the only one that could be flooded by the time the Flint River crests early in the morning.

"If you had flooding in 1998, we may very well flooding this time," Vaught said. The river is already above 30.87 feet, and is expected to crest at 32.2 feet. That's more than twelve feet above the flood stage, but four feet lower than the river crest in 1998.

Dr. Charles Harden's house on Skywater Boulevard flooded in 1994 and 1998. Once again, he's watching the water quickly rise in his back yard. "I'm not concerned really right now. If the predictions are right, I'm OK. It's come up at least a foot in the last hour or so."

Harden doesn't expect the water to reach the house, but after living through two floods, he's ready for anything. "I've got me a boat sitting up out here, just in case."

The EMA doesn't expect Dr. Harden will have to use that boat, but they are warning that many yards and streets could be flooded. Parts of Front Street in downtown Albany are already covered with water. Luckily, the part of the street behind the Civic Center isn't used much.

But the landscape of the Riverfront Park looks much different today. Veteran's Amphitheater is drawing crowds, not to enjoy a concert but to see just how high the waters rose overnight.

The EMA Director hopes the flooding won't last much longer. "As long as it doesn't rain which we're not anticipating, this water should run right on through. The Flint should crest at about 1:00AM, we should be fine after that."

Tomorrow, and better days can't come quick enough for some people along the Flint River. That part of Front Street could be closed for several days until the water recedes.

posted by dave.miller@walb.com