Emergency personnel prepare for high Flint levels in Albany

Emergency personnel prepare for high Flint levels in Albany

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - There is a heightened sense of concern as more rain and new forecasts push the potential Flint River crest even higher.

The river is now expected to rise until Saturday and reach more than 32 and a half feet.

The emergency operations center is back open at full strength as well at the Dougherty County Courthouse.

They're preparing a lot like they were over the weekend before the flooding was downgraded. The water continues to rise and move swiftly through downtown Albany.

Crews are now monitoring areas all over the city and county that could face flooding.

Lake Blackshear's flood gates are still open and will be for about the next 10 days.  It's heading downstream, and the Flint River in Albany is getting higher.

Light poles on the Riverwalk are nearly covered, and the water is creeping up the downtown bridge.

Dozens of people are documenting the river levels, but authorities know its dangers.

"The river's going to be rising. We're looking at 32'7" as the crest. It's going to hang in there a while at that level. It starts slowly decreasing," said Albany Fire Department Chief and EMA Director Ron Rowe.

Additional rain dumped locally and upstream makes it nearly impossible to get an accurate prediction.

Water may collect on roads all over the city, but certain places remain a priority for first responders.

"Northern side of town, with Lover's Lane Road. Robinson Point area. Of course the downtown area, down around Front and Mercer, and Riverside cemetery area. We're looking at the Oakridge, South Jackson, Grady, Talifax, area down that way," said Chief Rowe.

There have been no mandatory evacuations, and no bridges have been closed. Crews continue to monitor bridges as water builds up. They don't anticipate closing any.

"We have crews out. We have engineers out. We're keeping in contact with the national weather service. So we're gathering all the information we can to make the best decision as possible for the citizens," said Chief Rowe.

People in low lying areas are encouraged to get sand bags, food, and water to prepare for the flooding. Rowe said that even when the river crests, the levels will remain high for several days after that and recede very slowly.

The Albany/Dougherty Emergency Operations Center is now back open and staffed 24 hours a day. Representatives from many city and county departments and all the public safety agencies are there monitoring developments and ready to respond to emergencies.
Officials even went door to door in some flood-prone areas today to tell residents what they should expect. If you have any problems or questions, you can call the EOC at  483-6226 or 483-6227.

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