Grady County roads still have problems -, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Grady County roads still have problems

July 12, 2005

Cairo-- Lower Cairo Road near the Thomas County Line is expected to get worse when the Ochlocknee River crests tonight.

The Ochlocknee River in Grady County is on the rise, and Grady Emergency Management Director Jim Ellis is working around the clock to monitor it. "You have to take little breaks and keep yourself refreshed or you can get overwhelmed," he said.

Overflowing is the Ochlocknee's status right now. It's already at 18 feet, and isn't expected to crest until later this evening. "We look for later tonight to go close to 20 feet or a little over 20 feet. What is flood stage? 15 feet," said Ellis.

Four roads are closed in Grady because of flooding, and in case more get swamped, turn around, don't drown. Don't risk being swept away no matter how well you know them. "Drownings account for more loss of life in these events than any other thing during a storm," said Ellis.

A deadly fact connected to Ellis' top priority at this point. "Anything to save lives or make sure everyone is in a safe place."

A fence along Lower Cairo Road is about 50 yards from the Ochlocknee River and it's already about three feet underwater- a good indicator of where the river will crest.

Unfortunately for the EMA in neighboring Decatur County, they don't know when the Flint River will crest there. The Southeast River Forecast Center can't give us a clear picture until the river crests some up north.

But E-911 director Tonya Griffin does know about how high the Flint is expected to crest. "We should be getting between 28 and 29 feet. Flood stage is 25 feet.

A similar level to the last flood. "In April it got in three or four homes," said Griffin, and a precursor to prepare now.

"Sandbags are available at the industrial park. It they have any questions, if they need to know if they're in a flood zone, they can call the building department."

A lot of hard work on the front end of a lot of water will hopefully keep the injury count in both counties at zero on the back end.

The phone number for the Grady County Emergency Management Agency is 378-2271. And Decatur's EMA can be reached at 248-3869.


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