Dougherty Co. residents, commissioner react to Lovers Lane, Chehaw Lake flooding

Published: Jan. 3, 2022 at 8:14 PM EST
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ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) - Leaders in Dougherty County have responded after Lake Chehaw residents told us flooding is a constant problem in their area.

Sunday, heavy rain came down after a fairly dry December.

WALB’s Nathalie Moreau talked to residents and commissioners about solutions for the problem.

Crews have been out clearing the excess water in the neighborhood. Residents say anytime there’s any significant rain, water from the lake overflows to their homes.

“Start getting a little panicky. We’re trying to monitor it real close as far as how much it’s coming up and at what rate,” said Kenneth Lessard, who lives on Lake Chehaw.

Lessard, a homeowner, says this is the most water he has seen on the lake.

Resident’s and County Commissioner React to Lovers Lane & Chehaw Lake flooding
Resident’s and County Commissioner React to Lovers Lane & Chehaw Lake flooding(WALB)

“The water had come over the top of the dock and was flowing over the top of the dock. That’s about it as far as we’ve ever seen it come up and we’ve been out here since 1963. So it was a concern,” said Lessard.

The flooding issue isn’t new to Dougherty County.

“Early 2020, I’ve had citizens in my district that live along Lovers Lane and other areas that are low lying and waterfront reach out about some more acute flooding instances,” said Russell Gray, Dougherty County District 4 Commissioner.

“A lot for residents are here that live over here in Lovers Lane Road that when the water gets up to this level right here which is three-foot below my slab, their experiencing flooding,” said Lessard.

The people living in this area say they want the county to take action.

“To follow up on what they are gonna do if they are gonna do anything to find out what’s going on,” said Lessard.

“To clean out the gutter for one thing, and for the water would flow away from my house frankly, just get out see. I still can’t get out my driveway,” said Judy Varnell, a resident on Lake Chehaw.

Dougherty County Commissioner Russell Gray told us what the county had planned to address the flooding issues.

Russell Gray – Dougherty County District 4 Commissioner
Russell Gray – Dougherty County District 4 Commissioner(WALB)

“Dougherty County Commission looked at the potential purchase and subscription if you want to call it, to put a flood gauge actually here probably at the Lake Worth Philema Road dam. Really from the professional feedback we had, a flood gauge here is about like putting an avalanche detector in your house. You don’t really know an avalanche hits until it hits. While it’s a good data point to have, it’s not a have to have right now and give. Dougherty County does coal position right now. There are things that we need to look at to spend our money on that are frankly more impactful right now than a flood gauge that won’t solve the problem that we have,” said Gray.

Commissioner Gray did add that Georgia Power was able to open their flood gates Monday in order to decrease flooding in the area.

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