Baker County tries to recover from the flood

Baker County tries to recover from the flood
Kenneth Deese
Kenneth Deese

NEWTON, GA (WALB) - There are no Flood Warnings in southwest Georgia, but now some folks are dealing with the aftermath.

The Flint River in Newton has been under the flood stage since Friday, but has left a mess for one business owner.

You can normally find Kenneth Deese, the owner of Rocky Bend Flint River Retreat, manning one of his boats with his dog 'Bink Bink,' but today he was behind the wheel of an earth mover.

Rushing river water from last week's flood caused major erosion damage throughout Rocky Bend. "Well my mouth fell open there for a little bit, but when you've got that much water force coming down, it's going to change things forever," he said.

The Flint River in Newton Crested at 32.53 feet on January third. At the time, water was in two cabins, but the damage underneath was yet to be seen.

To visualize just how much water was at Rocky Bend's campgrounds, the owner went around and painted the orange lines on trees when the Flint was at its crest- over six feet above the ground.

Foundations have been washed away from cabins and other structures on the property causing sinkholes to appear.

Sand from the bottom of the Flint now covers impassable roads, and root systems are completely exposed.

"It's heartbreaking to see the gully washes and where the cement slabs have shifted," said Baker Co. EMA Director Sherry Bailey.

Deese now is now focused on getting is campground up and running again. "Basically what I need now are dump trucks and dirt. I found a farm down here that's going to let me have some dirt, but don't know exactly how much we have to have yet," he said.

Despite the situation, Deese has a positive outlook on the future. "Just keep moving forward, this is something that is going to happen, obviously, when you are this close to the water."

Despite the property damage, Deese expects his cabins to be ready for visitors by next weekend.

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