AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) – After two days of rain the Savannah River is rising. The 5th Street Marina in downtown Augusta is flooded.
Augusta Utilities director Wes Byne says that the water could continue to rise about a foot. Byne says right now the river is about 7 and a half feet above normal river elevation.
Although this may look bad the Savannah Riverkeeper says it’s just a part of nature and while it’s not causing any issues for the wildlife, it is causing some headaches for the people who live here.
“It’s right there. It’s under water, you can see the tee top”
Tommy Arriola woke up Thursday morning to find his 1981 vintage Corvette submerged under water.
“I had that car for a long time, and now it’s gone. It’s ruined.”
And not only is his Corvette ruined but also his friend’s truck that he was borrowing.
“That’s my lawyer friend’s truck and I hate it that it’s also ruined, usually they give us a warning if we’re going to have a flash flood, and we pull the cars out here and we bring it to higher ground, but yesterday or last night was all of a sudden.”
NewsChannel 6 had to take a boat to Arriola’s dock because the water was too high to walk. He says he’s been living out here since 2009 and has never seen the flooding get quite this bad, but another longtime resident says he’s seen it get worse than this, but he is upset that nobody living on the marina was notified about the possibility of flooding.
“When people are notified you don’t see what you’re looking at right now. I’m dissappointed that I’m looking at damage to vehicles. Some of the vehicles that are damaged the owners aren’t in a good position to go get another one.”
Savannah Riverkeeper Tonya Bonatatibus says it’s normal to see this type of flooding in the river around this time.
“Usually we flood around the beginning of March so this is a little bit late for flooding for us, but we will see, now that there is a lot of water in the system. The good news is the water because it’s getting into some of the swamps it’ll stay around and then that’ll ease what was going into a drought.”
But she says no one should be swimming or boating just for fun.
“There are vehicles that are in there, there is stuff that have been coming out of them. There is always lots of sewage– it’s just gross. So when rain happens, it floods and washes all of the stuff off the ground, into the creek stream– river– which means that it’s a pretty gross little mix so, it’s important that folks stay off it right now. “
At this time, the Marina, Boat House, & Baurle Boat Ramp are closed do to the high water levels. The reopening of the ramps is uncertain due to the level and conditions of the water.
The Riverkeeper’s office has also provided video of flooding at the River North subdivision in North Augusta, where two dumpsters were reported to have been swept away in rising water.
Elsewhere in the CSRA, flooding continues to be an issue in Edgefield County, where some neighborhoods are dealing with the aftermath of this week’s heavy rain.