Originally created 03/06/03

South Georgia faces flood warnings after three days of heavy rain



Three days of heavy rains in south Georgia have authorities keeping a close watch on potential flooding of the St. Marys River and others rivers near the Florida line.

"We do have a number of flood statements in effect in south Georgia," Georgia Emergency Management Agency spokesman Ken Davis said Wednesday. "They're mostly 1 1/2 -to-2 feet above flood stage and mostly in agricultural, timberland and flood plain areas."

Residents in several counties were hampered by standing water and mud on roads in low-lying rural areas.

"One road in Camden County was temporarily closed and in Brantley County, on the Satilla River, some cabins have flooding around them, but those folks are used to boating in and out," Davis said.

No homes were flooded or any evacuations ordered, although the rain-swollen St. Marys, Satilla, Altamaha and Withlacoochee rivers all were at or above flood stage, county emergency officials said.

A flood warning was in effect for the Satilla River in Brantley County, the Altamaha River in Appling County and the Withlacoochee River near Valdosta, Davis said.

The National Weather Service forecast called for rain showers including possible isolated thunderstorms across south Georgia through the weekend.

"Right now, Camden County is saturated. The water is draining, but it's going down very slowly," said Mark Crews, deputy director of the county's emergency management agency. "We don't have any water in homes, but that could happen if we get more rain."

About 30 families in Macclenny, Fla., near the Georgia line, have not been able to return to their homes since evacuating Monday night because the St. Marys River had not receded enough, a spokeswoman for Baker County, Fla., Emergency Services in Macclenny said Wednesday.