Albany, Lee County prepare for Bonnie - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Albany, Lee County prepare for Bonnie

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August 11, 2004

Albany - Some parts of South Georgia have already been socked with up to four inches of rain this week because of a stalled frontal system. Now, Tropical System Bonnie could bring four to six more inches of rain.

Workers across the region are preparing for the rainfall as people who live near rivers and creeks keep a watchful eye on water levels. The Kinchafoonee Creek flowed calmly Wednesday morning, but it's expected to crest more than a half-foot above flood level by Saturday in Dawson. And, that means water downstream will be high too.

Emergency Management Agency officials says they're ready to evacuate homes, but don't expected they'll have to do that. "We don't think that we'll be necessary, but we just want to be pro-active and prepared," said EMA Deputy Director Jim Vaught.

In Albany, public works crews continue cleaning out catch basins to stop flash flooding on streets and dredging some holding ponds to lower water levels.

If Tropical Storm Bonnie forces people in Florida to evacuate, they may come to Albany. EMA officials are prepared to house and feed up to 200 people if necessary. "Dougherty County is an evacuation site, headquartered at the Civic Center," said Vaught. "As people leave Florida, they will be told to listen to certain radio stations for directions about where to go for shelter."

The Southwest Georgia Chapter of the American Red Cross will likely head towards the coast in the next two days to help those displaced by the storm. They'll hand out cleaning supplies and food.

"We've been told to get our emergency shelter trailer ready. We also have a group of volunteers ready to go," said Arthur Shipley, American Red Cross. For now, it's a weather waiting game in Southwest Georgia.

Posted at 5:41PM by kathryn.murchison@walb.com