WILKES CO., Ga. (WJBF) – Wilkes County is gearing up for potential flooding due to the forecast of rain in the coming days.
“We’ve got a lot of rain coming. I think right now we’ve got heavy rain coming down,” Wilkes County EMA Director, Blake Thompson said.
When it rains heavily in Wilkes County, flooding is a major concern.
“We’ve got two to three little county roads here. If we’ve got any rain, three to four inches, most likely that bridge is going to be underwater and that road is going to be underwater,” Thompson said.
The county has recovered multiple roadways after facing two severe storms in recent years… the first in 2016.
“I think we’ve got 251 miles of dirt road and most to all the dirt roads back then were washed out,” Thompson said.
The most recent flooding was in 2020. Wilkes County resident, Carol Cartledge, says some places looked like an ocean.
“Luckily, I’m in town and I’m up on a hill, but there were areas that were just totally underwater,” Cartledge said.
The worst damage was to Rocker Creek Road, which collapsed, and a woman’s SUV ended up under water.
“We finally stopped the school bus. I called the superintendent and they turned the school bus around, but to make a long story short, we were lucky during that time too she wasn’t hurt,” Thompson said.
Thompson says the stretch of road underwent major repairs and it would take significant flooding to have that type of damage again.
The county will be monitoring roads throughout the coming days and staying in contact with residents via social media, radio, and phone. Thompson says Wilkes County is prepared to face upcoming potential flooding.
“It’s a real rural county and we depend on each other. A lot of times we might have Fire, EMS, City Fire, Road Department, City Department, but we all come together and be as one unit,” Thompson said.
“I trust our city. I really do. So yes, I think we’ll be ready for it,” Cartledge said.