Albany study looks to prevent future flooding - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Albany study looks to prevent future flooding

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Albany- Images from last weekend's storm show West Albany homes surrounded by water and cars covered. Those areas are drying out thanks to pumps from the public works department.

"Since 1998, this has probably been the highest over flood stage that we've had," said Ann Zimmer Shepherd, Public Works Sewer Manager.

But as they're helping to clean up, public works crews are gathering useful information.

"We worked along the areas, from all the way up along the bypass area, on down by the river, different locations, obviously the civic center. Everybody knows there was water in the back parking lot of the civic center," said Shepherd.

The Public Works department has been out marking spots around town all day, at the point where the water reached its highest. They hope those marks will help them predict future flooding.

"We picked some select places along the river, and made marks on how high the water was and recorded the time that the water reached that point," said Shepherd.

Engineers will go back and survey the elevation. That's matched with the exact time on the river gauge level to predict when certain areas will flood, and when public works should act.

"We will use that information to make decisions on which gates need to be closed and exactly which sewer lines and storm drain lines need to be closed off too. We can reduce the impact of high water from the river," said Shepherd.

The new information will help alert residents when their homes may be in danger and to help many, before it's too late.

"It will give us all a level of comfort that when we have similar events happen we can provide information that is sound and with a level of comfort that we're going to give people good information," said Shepherd.

Similar surveys were done after the floods in 1994 and 1998, but Public Works says there have been many new developments along the river since then. They say this new information will help them more accurately predict when homes may be in danger.

posted by jennifer.emert@walb.com

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