Berrien County ready to weather the storm - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Berrien County ready to weather the storm

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By Alicia Eakin - bio | email

August 21, 2008

VALDOSTA, GA (WALB) - If Fay continues on this westward track, the heaviest rain will be along the southern border counties of Georgia.

Lowndes County is bracing for between three and eight inches of rainfall.  In anticipation of that, schools will be closed Friday.

And that's not the only place where classes are canceled.

Nine school systems in South Georgia have canceled classes Friday because if we do get that much rain, it would wash out roads and make it dangerous for school buses.

Berrien County is one of the counties where kids get a day out of school.

The road department and public works are ready in case there is road flooding.

Add a little water to a dirt road and you get a big mess.   "You mix water and dirt together and you get mud. It's just a big problem," says Ben Warren, Roads Superintendent in Berrien County.

And a potential catastrophe for public safety working through a tropical storm.  "In those cases, they may turn into rescue efforts," says Berrien County Sheriff Anthony Heath.

It's a scenario leaders in Berrien County would like to avoid. Unfortunately most of their roads aren't paved. So road crews have been busy clearing debris and collecting trash.

"A little big of that gets in there with a limb or something, it stops the pipes up, water rises and flows into the highway or dirt roads and washes the roadways out," Warren says.

"The main objective is to keep the state highways and corridors of travel open so we can get our and function incase EMS needs to respond and all our emergency vehicles can have a way to go," Heath adds.

But they say deputies  and jail work crews will be standing by, "If it's extremely bad and the water rises and we have a lot of flooding, which its predicted to be that way, then we'll call all units out," Heath says."We have four inmates ready."

To help the community weather whatever the storm may bring.

"Worse case scenario, we've talked it out and we are ready," Heath adds.