Flood victims begin to clean up - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Flood victims begin to clean up

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July 12, 2005

Sylvester- Calton Cherry's Young street home is just one of nearly 80 in Sylvester, and a dozen in the county that were flooded overnight Sunday.

"I had about five inches that's all, not too bad," Cherry says.

But those five inches were enough to ruin the carpet in his entire mobile home, carpet he just installed two months ago when he moved in.

"I'm trying to get all the carpet up, and let the water try to dry," says Cherry.

He, like many of his neighbors, never expected floodwaters to invade his home.

"It's just something that happened all of a sudden. I went to the back to look at my backyard, by the time I got back, the water was up to my chest, so I went from house to house and told everybody to get out, get out, get out," Cherry says.

"The flooding in Sylvester was not a result of any dam bursting or water coming from other area or other counties. It was a direct result of very heavy rains in our community overloading our storm drainage facilities," says Mayor Bill Yearta.

In a special press conference Mayor Bill Yearta said unofficially the city received up to eight inches of rain over just a few hours.

"Our hearts go out to these folks that have been effected because it's just a very devastating situation," Yearta says.

Officials say they understand that residents are anxious to return to their homes and begin cleaning up, but for safety reasons they are asking flood victims to be patient and stay with relatives or the Red Cross shelter located at Worth County High School.

"We're urging people at this time not to go back into these houses because many of them are structurally unsound." Yearta says once the city and county find out whether the state will issue any assistance, the city will provide help and clean up information to all the flood victims.

Beginning Wednesday the city and county will set up a disaster relief center. Representatives from legal services, public health, DFACS and the Red Cross will be on hand to provide assistance to flood victims. The disaster center will be set up at the Sylvester Fire Department on Westberry Street.

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