Columbia County Crews Prepare for Tropical Storm Andrea - WJBF-TV ABC 6 Augusta-Aiken

Columbia County Crews Prepare for Tropical Storm Andrea

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Augusta, GA -

Tropical Storm Andrea could bring floods to the CSRA. A flood watch is in effect in our area until 8 p.m. Friday.

Columbia County engineers say the crews from the Georgia Department of Transportation inspect their roads and bridges every year – and so far so good. Crews alert them about any deficiencies or road repairs – but with this weather system, they're really expecting more rains and localized flooding.

Crews in Columbia County kept a close eye on the weather as tropical storm Andrea moved in.

"When heavy rains come it brings trash out of yards so anything we've seen, we've gotten up," said Columbia County Constructions and Maintenance Director, Matt Schlachter.

"We're ready to go with our plans, our practices, our crews – we know what to do," said EMA Director Pam Tucker.

"We've got out crews on stand by – we have barrels, we have barricades, we have equipment," said Schlachter.

"Storm water department is looking at the storm system, and after rain, there's lots of trash, pinestraw, and sticks," Schlachter.

Crews are still repairing a sinkhole in the Barrington subdivision after severe weather hit earlier this week.

The road caved in following Monday's heavy rainstorm and now with more rain on the way, crews are on stand-by mode.

"We're trying to isolate waterlines, make sure gas lines don't rupture and power lines don't break. Until the rain clears we won't have time to make repairs and don't want to open up any more dirt than we have to," said Schlachter.

County engineers say the sinkhole formed after heavy rains overloaded the drains causing an underground pipe to explode.

"I don't expect any more sinkholes. The rain we got was quite large. We got 5 inches in just over an hour that's a big test for a storm system," said Schlachter.

While major damage is not expected, crews have their plans in place – just in case.

"If we do have flooding, get to higher ground. If the rain is really heavy, move your car to higher grounds," said Pam Tucker.

"It's hard to say how much rain is going to fall at any given time but we do know a lot is coming so we have to wait and see what happens," said Schlachter.

"If you are in a low lying area, please consider getting flood insurance. It takes 30 days to go into effect," said Tucker.

Crews don't anticipate any major damage from Tropical Storm Andrea – but just some possible localized flooding.

Now if you don't have an emergency kit ready, make sure you have a flashlight handy, charge your phone and laptops and keep monitoring in case severe weather hits our area.

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