The water level on the Savannah River has been going down over the last two weeks. Many parks and boat ramps reopened on Thursday, including the lower portion of the Augusta Riverwalk. Bust just because the level is going, that doesn't mean the river is safe again.
Officials are still telling boaters to be careful because the river current is still strong. Thursday night, the Savannah Riverkeeper met with residents in an Evans' neighborhood to talk about damage. Because the water is receding, people are beginning to see what the flooding left behind.
Just two weeks ago, the Jessye Norman Amphitheater was underwater. The Savannah River level has dropped more than 5 feet in the last two weeks, which has allowed the Augusta Riverwalk to reopen. That's where we found Doris Wilder.
"You can tell from the dirt where the water had came up. The dirt is real ugly and stuff like that. But other than that, it's pretty good. I'm glad the water is gone," Wilder says.
A lot of other people are also discovering debris left behind by the flooding. That's why the Savannah Riverkeeper is meeting with folks who live near the river.
"One of the major kind of immediate things that we had to deal with were a lot of trees up underneath docks. So you had a lot of docks as the water went down the trees are kind of holding them up. That is pretty immediate you have to get those out of there or the docks are going to break if the water keeps going down," says Tonya Bonitatibus.
Even though the river level is a lot lower than it has been over the last several weeks, it's actually still flowing about three times faster than it normally does.
The Riverkeeper says people need to be careful and treat the Savannah like a North Georgia mountain stream right now. And with forecasters predicting above-average rainfall next month, the Riverkeeper fears the low river levels will be short lived.
"Maybe we'll get lucky and it will stay nice and quiet but folks should certainly not be completely relaxed that this is over with. We could very easily end up right back where we were," says Bonitatibus.
Meanwhile, Wilder is just happy that jazz musicians can use the Jessye Nornam Amphitheater again.
"But now that it's open I will be back down here Sunday and I'm glad. But they should clean up down here before we come," Wilder says.
There are still a lot of areas along the river that will remain closed. Lock and Dam Park and access to the boat ramp there will be closed until further notice. 10th Street access to the Riverwalk is closed. And Mims Road is closed as well.
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