Dougherty County - Unsettling news for flood victims in Acree. Monday, county leaders said there's little they can do to prevent Piney Woods Creek from flooding in the future.
Several homes, businesses, and a church flooded in Acree in July after 10 inches of rain fell in eight hours. Some residents then asked county commissioners to clean out, maybe even dredge Piney Woods creek, to prevent flooding.
The county doesn't own the creek or its adjacent property. County commissioners said property owners, along with the EPD and Corps of Engineers, would have to approve the project. Also, county engineers, who studied the creek, said the creek hasn't flooded like that in the past 50-years.
Commissioner Chairman Jeff Sinyard said this was just an act of nature. "If you clean the entire creek out, it could create as many problems as you would have had prior to that. We were already sued because we disturbed the natural habitat of the creek, so you get into environmental issues," said Sinyard.
The county started cleaning out the creek in 1998, but landowners Liz Klemann and Richard Thomas sued. The suit claimed the county didn't get permission and harmed the eco-system. The case was settled.