Kinchafoonee, Muckalee rise again -, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Kinchafoonee, Muckalee rise again

James Howell, Lee County EMA Director James Howell, Lee County EMA Director
Matthew Inman Matthew Inman
Rick Muggridge Rick Muggridge

Lee County officials expect areas flooded on Christmas to flood again, though not as severely.

Both creeks are expected to crest over the weekend with the Kinchafoonee well into moderate flood stage.

Roads like Creekside Drive, portions of which were completely underwater just yesterday, are finally clearing today. But more rain is leading to rising water again.   

Wednesday, the water from the Kinchafoonee has receded dramatically, and residents whose homes were damaged are making repairs to their property, and trying to clean up.

But officials warn Lee County residents living on the creeks will see more water.

Matthew Inman joined a group of Lee County Emergency workers to update Commissioners Wednesday morning,  and to discuss what damages the county has sustained so far, and if there will be any financial assistance. "I just want people to know the water is going to rise," he said.

Commissioner Rick Muggridge said,  "More than likely the event is localized and we will not qualify for a FEMA or a GEMA event and as such the cost of this catastrophe will be borne by the citizens of Lee County."

Some roads, like this section of Kinchafoonee Creek Road, was damaged, and the commissioners set aside $26,000 for the repairs to these roads.

But the bridges are okay. "At this time all the data we have is that the bridges are structurally sound and they have survived the flooding events with no damage," said Inman.

But at least 86 homes were damaged, and people are working on the clean-up. County workers expect the total damage to be much higher than these early estimates.

"And as we get in there and actually go into the homes and see the damage that has occurred that will go up significantly," Inman said.

The Kinchafoonee and the Muckalee gauges were accurate.

Right now, there is a proposal to lower the flood action stage on the Muckalee Creek, perhaps by as much as four feet, to more accurately reflect a minor flood condition. Currently, the minor flood stage for the Muckalee Creek is 15 feet, but some properties were surrounded by water at the 15 foot level, so the flood action stages are in question.

The weather service now predicts the Muckalee will crest at 13.1 feet Sunday.  That is more than a foot shy of what it hit Saturday.

The Kinchafoonee is predicted to reach 18.1 feet Saturday which is enough to wash out roads along the lower creek again.

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