Ochlockonee River crests - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Ochlockonee River crests

July 13, 2005

Thomasville--  Hurricane Dennis caused nearly a million dollars worth of damage in Thomas County, from damaged roads and bridges to culverts and sewers.  And it will likely take months before everything's repaired.

You know the Ochlockonee River is overflowing in Thomas County when you're eye level with the powerlines.  "The whole bridge was covered with water," says fisherman James Williams.

The 21 foot crest Wednesday morning put a serious damper on Williams' vacation.  "This time, there isn't anything biting but the little ones," he says.  22 roads in Thomas are in need of major repairs, Coffee Road being among the worst. County Manager Mike Stephenson says the final damage estimate is still a couple of days away, as are the repairs Hurricane Dennis forced.  "We've not completed our calculations on the personnel and equipment that we have to use," says Stephenson.

Big holes and big water also led to the big question right now for Stephenson.  "What's the Governor going to do with this information?," he asks.  That information will answer whether Thomas County will suffer even more when the repair bill is due.  "With a million dollars in damage, if we don't get assistance from the state or federal government, all of the money is going to have to come from the county," says Stephenson.

That's a county that's drenched, and anticipating more bad storms over the next three months of hurricane season.  "I guess I'll have to find higher ground, somewhere else to go fishing," says Williams.

Despite all of that damage, only two people suffered minor injuries during the storm. They were both involved in separate car accidents.

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