Alberto effect present after two decades

Leon Gohman
Leon Gohman
Carlton Cross
Carlton Cross

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - Twenty years ago, on June 30, a tropical storm warning was issued for parts of Mexico. The storm would become Tropical Storm Alberto, and the beginning of what was the Historic Flood of 1994.

People around the Flint River Tuesday were enjoying the nice weather, but the memories of the summer of 1994 are still fresh in their minds.

"I couldn't believe it was happening. You see stuff like this on TV happening in other places, and then the weeks after that, with the TV on, it was 24/7," Leon Gohman said.

A disaster so large, people in South Georgia will never forget how quickly it happened. Carlton Cross said "it was just amazing how fast it happened, but we were able to get, but we were able to get out and nobody got hurt or anything."

The storm hit Florida on July 3rd, and then moved inland. It dumped two feet of rain on Americus in 24 hours. 15 people in Sumter County died in flash flooding. The rainfall forced the Flint River to record levels. When the river crested at 23 feet above sea level, thousands of homes, businesses and churches were destroyed.

Gohman said "We had to gut our church. Everything out. All that we had was just the outside structure. There was nothing inside left."   Five people in Albany died. It is an event that will always be in people's memory and will haunt the people who were here.

"When they mention the flood stage, they talk about the flood stage. That's where I get worried, and I start to think about it, yeah."   "It was real scary," Cross said.  "A real scary emotion. We just didn't have time to get nothing out of the house before the flood came up into the back of the houses."

WALB will broadcast from the bank of the Flint River for the Flood Anniversary. Dawn Hobby and Ben Roberts hope you will tune in and watch Tuesday, July 8th at 6 p.m.

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