ALBANY, GA (WALB) - Officials with the Dougherty County Health Department and others shared new information about the Flint River flooding at a meeting Thursday, and said they believe water levels have basically "flat-lined."
According to EMA Director Ron Rowe, the river level has only increased by one-tenth of a foot, which is about 4/10ths away from the expected crest.
Crews said they expect the water level to remain the same after cresting for another day, and then begin to recede.
In the meantime, health officials urge people to be careful around flood waters and contaminated areas.
Health hazards to avoid if your residence has been flooded
Residents whose homes or businesses have been flooded during the severe weather event should take precautions to avoid hazards that could impact their health, says Dougherty County Health Department Health Director Remy Hutchins.
As high waters recede and recovery workers, residents, business owners and volunteers prepare to clean previously flooded areas or structures, they should first ensure their tetanus shots are up-to-date, Hutchins said.
Tetanus vaccine fees will be waived for individuals directly involved in flood clean-up activities.
The health department is open Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. and Wednesday from 7:30 am. - 6 p.m.
Snakes, wild animals and insects, including floating mats of fire ants, seek high ground during flooding events, so recovery workers and others should be watchful, Hutchins said.
"Also, be mindful that fast-moving water can displace trees and other large objects, which may then be covered in mud -- making footing treacherous. Standing water can also conceal hidden hazards," she warned. "Take care using axes, ladders, chain-saws, winches and similar equipment. Injuries during clean-up are not uncommon."
Hutchins also emphasized the importance of hand washing. "Flood water often carries a number of organisms that can cause infections if they get into cuts or scrapes. Wear gloves and boots, and wash your hands frequently."
She also reminded residents with private wells that if their wells are impacted by flooding that information on how to decontaminate them is available from the Southwest Health District webpage www.southwestgeorgiapublichealth.org and its Facebook page and that fees will be waived for water testing after decontamination instructions have been followed.
Contact the Dougherty County Health Department at 229-430-6200.