Lee official says creek threat not over _ local news _ albanyherald. com

Albany, GA (31701) Today Cloudy skies this morning will become partly cloudy this afternoon. High 68F. Winds W at 5 to 10 mph.. Tonight Cloudy with occasional rain late. Low near 45F. NNE winds at less than 5 mph, increasing to 10 to 20 mph. Chance of rain 80%. Rainfall near a quarter of an inch. Updated: January 16, 2016 @ 6:42 am Full Forecast Lee County public safety officers block part of Kinchafoonee Creek Road to keep residents from driving into unsafe areas. (Photo Courtesy of Matthew Inman) The intersection of Kinchafoonee Creek Road and Creekside Drive in Lee County is covered by water two days after Christmas. (Photo Courtesy of Matthew Inman) This residence of Creekside Drive was still surrounded by flood waters on December 27. (Photo Courtesy of Matthew Inman) Rows of houses along Creekside Drive are inundated with flood waters. (Photo Courtesy of Matthew Inman) The Muckalee Creek came dangerously close to the bottom of this bridge during recent flooding. (Photo Courtesy of Matthew Inman) Flood waters nearly capture these vehicles at a residence on Creekside Drive in Lee County.

(Photo Courtesy of Matthew Inman) Lee County public safety officers block part of Kinchafoonee Creek Road to keep residents from driving into unsafe areas. (Photo Courtesy of Matthew Inman) The intersection of Kinchafoonee Creek Road and Creekside Drive in Lee County is covered by water two days after Christmas. (Photo Courtesy of Matthew Inman) This residence of Creekside Drive was still surrounded by flood waters on December 27. (Photo Courtesy of Matthew Inman) Rows of houses along Creekside Drive are inundated with flood waters. (Photo Courtesy of Matthew Inman) The Muckalee Creek came dangerously close to the bottom of this bridge during recent flooding. (Photo Courtesy of Matthew Inman) Flood waters nearly capture these vehicles at a residence on Creekside Drive in Lee County.

(Photo Courtesy of Matthew Inman) LEESBURG — Lee County residents impacted by receding flooding may have to wait a little longer before returning to their residences to assess damage due to incoming rain that will push the Kinchafoonee Creek back up to nearly 18 feet. During an update given to the Lee County Board of Commissioners at a special called meeting Wednesday, Zoning, Planning and Engineering Director Matthew Inman said that despite a brief respite during the past couple of days, rain forecast to move into the area in the next 24 to 38 hours will push creek levels back to a point of concern. “We’re in the recovery phase of the process but I do want to caution that this is not over as a flooding event,” Inman told commissioners. “We’re expected to get more rain.” Inman said reports he had received Wednesday from the River Forecast Center called for creek levels to rise another four feet by the weekend, pushing the crest to 17.4 feet, a number he later amended to 17.8 feet. “The river forecast center projection last night (Tuesday) was somewhere down in the 15 foot range,” said Inman.

“Overnight they adjusted it up to 17.4. Just to give everybody an idea, that’s where it was Sunday afternoon. The river forecast center is predicting about a four-foot rise from where it is now.” Inman added that the creek had already risen slightly due to mild rain Tuesday night where some areas of the county received more than an inch of rain. With the additional rain forecast for Wednesday night and Thursday the creek is expected to reach the predicted 17.8 foot crest Sunday morning, before slowly receding. With those predictions Inman warned that residents trying to get back into their homes within the next two days may end up having to evacuate again as the Kinchafoonee rises. Inman stopped short of saying residents should not return to their homes in the next few days, but he issued strong warnings that doing so could create additional issues should the rising waters reach structures again. Because of the incoming rain and predicted crest on Sunday, Inman added that Red Cross relief crews would not be in the area with clean-up kits, and the county building inspectors would not be able to begin assessing damage until early next week. Inman said he knew of roughly 100 homes that had been impacted in some way by the flood waters and 85 houses that actually had water get inside the main structure.

If that number holds, Inman said the damage estimates could still vary, although he did offer a preliminary figure of at least $1.6 million. “The preliminary assessment shows about $1.6 million worth of damage,” said Inman.

“That is a very rough estimate. We’re taking the square footage of the house, multiplying by $10.59 a square foot, (the average number provided by Servpro). It will probably greatly change by the time this is all said and done.” Inman added that houses that had water inside that got above 18 inches to two feet would likely have electrical damage that would greatly increase repair estimates. “That number goes from $10.50 to $30, $40, $50 a square foot on houses that have electrical damage,” he said. “So, this number is a very fluid number.

” Regardless of the final outcome county emergency response agencies have thus far been able to completely mitigate personal injuries stemming from the rising water. Lee County Commissioners have approved a waiver of the 40-hour rule allowing workers to receive overtime pay, which was also raised to double-time through the action. In other flood related actions the commission voted unanimously to approve the transfer of $25,000 from the county’s contingency fund to public works to cover repairs to roadways and the commission unanimously approved a $7,500 budget amendment to allow the building inspections department to hire a temporary employee to help with impending building inspections. The commission also unanimously voted to waive building inspection permit fees, garbage fees and landfill fees for qualified residents who were directly impacted by the flood.

Additional flood-related information is also available on the county’s website www. lee. ga. us. Brad McEwen With The Albany Herald since 2013, I am a Staff Writer who handles business news, entertainment news, general news assignments and features. There was a problem saving your notification.

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