ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) - Ned Newcomb said his home has been on Lovers Lane Road since 1949, and flooding has been a consistent issue.
“My house flooded on March 7 of this year. I am here this morning to request that the Dougherty County Commission preform 4 tasks to better inform citizens and help them prepare for a flood, or prevent their houses from flooding," said Newcomb.
Newcomb asked that the commission:
- Ask the Federal Emergency Regulatory Commission (FERC) to give Georgia Power permission to release three feet of water from Lake Chehaw ahead of high-water events.
- Ensure the county’s EMA director work directly with Crisp County and Georgia Power to release water during high water events.
- Put all county flood level information online.
- Install a public flood gauge on the lake people can see.
Commissioner Russel Gray said that while there are several flood gauges already in the area, it can be hard for residents to get the information directly.
“It’s bureaucracy, but I think this is easily reconciled with transparency and collaboration between the different organizations involved. I think there is some interest with Albany State and other entities to work together to come up with a collaborative plan," said Gray.
Commission Chairman Chris Cohilas said Newcomb’s requests are not unreasonable.
“One, I’d like to see Chief (Cedric) Scott, come and talk to us at the commission meeting. Please have him educated on the FERC issue that Mr. Newcomb talked about. And if there’s a letter that we need to sign or that I need to sign to send to FERC, it’ll be the easiest letter in the world to sign. ‘Dear FERC, please let Georgia Power let off water in advance of a flood.’ That makes good sense. I’d sign that tomorrow," said Cohilas.