Moultrie Observer

Local News

February 25, 2013

Schools, roads closed by storm

MOULTRIE — Three days worth of rain in less than a week have put smiles on the faces of farmers, but travelers, some homeowners and even parents of schoolchildren were feeling frustration from Monday’s soaking.

Colquitt County Emergency Management Director Russell Moody said as of Monday evening no injuries had been reported in connection with the weather.

“That’s one blessing,” he said.

The weather station at Spence Field recorded 2.96 inches of rain between midnight and 2:45 p.m. Monday, its latest recording. That’s on top of 1.51 inches on Friday and 1.90 inches on Saturday.

That was more than some county roads could take. Moody said 88 roads had water over them Monday and more than a dozen were closed. The City of Moultrie has also closed all or part of seven streets.

“We’re still assessing,” Moody said about 7:30 p.m. Monday. “It’s not over.”

In addition to more rain expected Tuesday morning, creeks and rivers will continue to swell from rain that fell upstream. Moody said he expects them to crest in a couple of days.

“We need everybody to stay off the roads as much as possible,” he said. “If you don’t need to travel tomorrow (Tuesday), don’t.”

The storm forecast to arrive at 6 a.m. Tuesday promises wind on top of another 2-3 inches of rain, Moody said. Monday’s rain included little wind and resulted in only a few trees down, he said.

Road damage and dangerous driving conditions were cited Monday afternoon as the Colquitt County School System decided to close schools for Tuesday. Officials are assuming classes will resume Wednesday, but they urged parents to check local media or online at colquitt.schooldesk.net in case the closure is extended.

Moultrie Technical College closed Monday evening and will be closed Tuesday as well, according to an email from the school.

Other school systems throughout southwest Georgia have also closed, according to regional media.

Residents watched the rising waters with trepidation.

“My house is sitting on an island now,” said Thelma Wills of the 1800 block of Fourth Street Southeast. “The water is rising and I’m getting worried because my house was flooded with a foot and a half of water in 2003.”

Wills said a city worker told her debris was blocking the culvert on Tallokas Road that drained water from her neighborhood and a backhoe would be needed to clear it.

Other residents responded to The Observer on Facebook:

“The lake is flooding our back yard on Twin Lakes Drive,” posted Robin Leddington Collinsworth.

“Man if I wanted to I could swim round my whole house. Dats how flooded it is out here,” wrote Hector Soto, who didn’t include his address.

“Indian Lake is flooding,” posted Laurie Gay.

“Our pond on old Albany is flooding,” said Jessica Brooke.

“Everything is out of banks from Adel Hwy to the end of R.L. Sears Rd!!” posted Nicole Casteel.

The rain was great news for farmers, though, Colquitt County Extension Agent Glenn Beard said. Subsoil moisture has been replenished and ponds have been filled to a level they haven’t seen in two years, he said.

“We’d rather get it an inch or two at the time instead of 10 inches at the time like it looks like we’re going to have,” he said.

The water does bring a challenge: It came just as farmers are getting ready for planting, and now the fields will be too wet for land preparation for a while.

The only crops currently in the ground are cabbage that have been transplanted for the spring crop — one of the county’s biggest crops — and some greens. The rain will delay cultivating and spraying of them, Beard said.

 

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