Albany escapes severe flash flooding - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Albany escapes severe flash flooding

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Albany - About an inch and a half of rain fell in Albany overnight, pushing the storm water and sewage systems to the limit. However, Albany didn't have too much flash flooding thanks, in part, to days of preparation.

Eleven year old Ashlie didn't expect to spend her spring break helping her grandmother Shirley Whittle move sandbags. "We thought we would just leave the sandbags until the next flood," said Whittle with a big laugh. Whittle can joke now because luckily, the waters of this swollen holding pond behind her Shannon Street home didn't flood her garage and house. She knows public works crews are to thank for that.

"If they hadn't pumped any water out, I don't know where it would have been. It probably would have been much higher," said Whittle.

Public Works crews spent this week lowering holding ponds, clearing out catch basins, and monitoring an already full storm water drainage system to prevent flash flood.

"Since Easter Sunday, we've had people running literally 24 hours a day," said Sewer Division Director Ann Simmer-Shepherd. The preparation, coupled with less rain than expected overnight, prevented more yards and streets from flooding. "We were well-prepared, and it turned out to work pretty well," said Zimmer-Shepherd.

Public Works will continue to pump water from some holding ponds that are still over their banks. Whittle's yard could be underwater for days, but she's just happy to be safe rather than sorry.

The city was able to open the flood gates to the Flint River allowing some storm water to flow into the river. The Flint is still above the flood stage, but it's going down quickly. The rain overnight will cause the water to temporarily go up sometime tomorrow or Saturday, but no flooding is expected.

posted by kathryn.murchison@walb.com