SW Georgia alert for Potential Flooding - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

SW Georgia alert for Potential Flooding

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Colonel Thomas Challender Colonel Thomas Challender
BLAKELY, GA (WALB) -

Some spots in Early County got 10 inches of rain in just 48 hours. That area could get another five inches on top of that. That could make for a bad situation for low-lying areas.

Early County school officials are keeping an especially close eye on the weather. The school superintendent says his main concern is keeping his students safe.

Colonel Thomas Challender, Superintendent of schools in Early county is keeping a close eye on the weather. Monday, he let students out of school early after he got word several inches of rain was expected.

He's been working closely with the EMA director and Transportation director in monitoring conditions.

He says his major concern is buses traveling across dirt roads that could flood. "I won't have any of my buses drive through water because it doesn't take much before you have a big problem," said Challender.

In 48 hours, Early county got an estimated 9 inches of rain. He says the roads are okay now, but more rain is expected.

In Early County, most of the students ride the bus. "I would say about 50% to 75% would be on a dirt road at some point in time," said Challender.

He says the most important thing is to make sure students are safe, but he's also responsible for ensuring all 2,200 kids in the system get a proper education. For now, he's playing it by ear because calling off school means students have to make it up.

"In public education, we have so many schools we have to go to a year, no one likes to make up school time."

He says if parents are concerned about the weather, they have the right to keep their child home from school. "If they have a road coming through and they have to go through water, don't do anything dumb-- don't come to school that day."

But he advises parents get their kids to school if they can. Once they are at school, it's his job to keep them safe until they get home. Challender says if he makes a decision to cancel classes, he'll try to make that decision by 5:00 pm the previous day so there's time to get the word out.

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