Heavy rain causing river level concerns for South Georgia

Updated: Feb. 18, 2021 at 6:42 PM EST
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VALDOSTA, Ga. (WALB) -Heavy rain across South Georgia is causing river and creek level concerns for some.

What looks like a river, is actually flooding in the parking lot behind the YMCA in Valdosta.

Rain flooding YMCA parking lot.
Rain flooding YMCA parking lot.(WALB)

“Grass and grounds we actually utilize for summer camp and all of our activities. You wouldn’t see any water here at all, so about a quarter of a mile back is where the river is traditionally and it would encroach our property for a quarter of a mile when it floods this way,” said Lawrence S. Tobey III, Valdosta’s YMCA’s President and CEO.

He tells me this is an annual occurrence.

Every time there’s more than three to four consecutive days of rain, he says this happens.

“In 2009, obviously there was record rainfall and we actually flooded inside the building about three feet and closed the Y closed down for about six weeks,” said Tobey.

Tobey says they’re now fully insured and prepared if something were to happen again.

The YMCA is prepared for the worst, but hoping for the best.

He said the county and city have been helpful in providing updates with levels and making improvements.

“So as far as flooding here in Lowndes County we are closely monitoring our river levels and we will continue to do that for the next several days in conjunction with the National Weather Service,” said Meghan Barwick, Lowndes County’s Public Information Officer.

Barwick said depending on how much rain they get Thursday, they’ll have a more accurate forecast to communicate with those affected along the river and creeks and provide information with what they should do or expect if levels rise.

According to the National Weather Service River Forecast, the Withlacoochee River is showing minor flooding.

Over in Brooks County, the river flows near Quitman, Emergency Management Agency Director, Michael Smith, says they’re monitoring the water levels, but there are no nearby homes or businesses in danger.

The Alapaha River in Statenville is showing moderate flooding on the radar.

It’s visible on the path to the river’s boat ramp.

HIgh river level at Alapaha River in Statenville, Ga.
HIgh river level at Alapaha River in Statenville, Ga.(WALB)

We’ll continue to monitor the river levels here in the south region and keep you updated with any new developments or immediate danger.

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