AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) — The heavy rain is causing the Augusta Canal to flood in several areas in the CSRA.
“The only time I’ve seen something like this was back in 1990, where we had two days of this,” explained Augusta Utilities Director, Tom Wiedmeier.
Tom Weidmier says the extra water is coming into the canal from Raes Creek, Rock Creek, and Reid Creek in Columbia County. He says his crew is dumping the water but is still causing some flooding in the Downtown Augusta Area.
“It’s coming out of banks in other places,” said “We are not worried about the structural integrity of the canal, but we are trying to minimize flooding the best we can.”
But the Savannah Riverkeeper says there is some hope that things don’t get that bad there.
“The good news is the river is still pretty low so that the water can dump out,” explained Tonya Bonitatibus. “That will change as hours go on, there is going to be more water in the river as well.”
Bonitatibus told NewsChannel 6 reporter, Devin Johnson, there are a series of gates and ways to get extra water out of the canal. In the meantime, she is warning people to stay out of the water.
“Stormwater and flood water is dangerous, so people need to stay out of this water, Not just because it’s dangerous to walk through, but it contains a lot of contaminations.”
Both the Savannah Riverkeeper and the Augusta Utility Department are expecting five more inches of rain coming down, which cause the canal to continue to rise. Bonitatibus is advising people to take extra precautions if they are planning to leave their homes.
“Park your vehicle at a high point on your property,” said Bonitatibus. Do not park it in a low spot, then all of a sudden, it fills up, and you can’t drive it out either.”
If you live in a low rise area and you are concerned about the flooding, you are advised to leave. Tom Weidmier is warning drivers not to drive through standing water.
Photojournalist: Will Baker