South side prays for light rain - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

South side prays for light rain

South Albany-- The waters of the Flint River started flowing into some streets in south Albany Tuesday afternoon. By Wednesday morning, the water reached the front porch of one house west of the river, and some streets and yards were flooded.

Now, people in south Albany are just hoping that more rain on Friday won't cause more problems.

The overflowing waters of the Flint River are now flooding parts of south Albany, just west of the river. Martha Duncan can't make it off the front porch of her Ebony Street home. "If it gets more higher, we're going to have to go to my folks."

The 200 block of Ebony and South Jackson, on both sides of Oakridge Drive, are covered with water and blocked off to traffic. About a block away, the cul de sac on Shelby Lane is underwater. "The water just keeps rising and rising, and rising." Tiffany Young says water started bubbling out of the manhole in the middle of the cul de sac around 11:00 Tuesday night and by this morning, the road was covered.

Public Works Director Phil Roberson says it's not sewage, but river water with no place to go but up and out. "We don't know if it's the water of the Flint or raw sewage coming up. We don't know nothing."

The city has closed the gates to the river and is pumping as much water as possible to the Joshua Street Wastewater Treatment Plant. "The problem we're running into now, is that our wastewater treatment plant is running at full capacity. We're treating around 70 million gallons a day, the average daily flow is around 12 and 18 million a day. We're wide open at the plant, and we can't take another gallon."

Another gallon could cause sewage to spill in the Flint River, and the EPD is in Albany monitoring the plant to make sure that doesn't happen. Now, Roberson says if it rains on Friday and the river hasn't recede enough to open the out falls, they'll will be no place for the water to go.

"We don't want to scare anybody or create a panic, but the localized flooding people are experiencing now can be exacerbated if you have no out falls." And there' is a good chance of rain on Friday, and Roberson says if we get more than an inch, more yards, streets, and maybe even homes could be flooded.

Flint River crested at 32.15 feet, a few inches lower than expected.

posted by dave.miller@walb.com

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