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Most rainfall in decade causes massive flooding

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Flood 1

By Alton Mitchell
Winter rolled into LaFayette last week, however over the first week of winter conditions have seemed more like early spring. Weather conditions have been dominated by above average temperatures and storms that seemed more spring like than winter like. The storms that have ravaged much of the nation did not spare LaFayette and Chambers County from its torrential downpours and flooding.

Christmas day and the weekend offered some relief from storms that dominated much of the week last week. However by Monday the rain had returned to the area. Rainfall totals from last week totaled nearly 10” in some areas of Chambers County. The deluge of rain caused severe flooding throughout the County.

Despite the moderate relief of the weekend. It was not enough to allow the abundant amount of rainfall to completely go away before the next round of rain arrives which is predicted to last until the middle part of this week.

New rainfall is falling on already saturated ground and has once again cause a flood threat to become present. The rainfall has caused creeks to swell in the county and the Chattahoochee River to rise well above flood stage. Standing water has been seen on roadways and making its way into a few homes in structures throughout the region.

Bridge washout Uhaul
Bridge washout

The rising waters have kept emergency management officials throughout the County busy over the past week. Their duties have included protecting motorist from hazard conditions including roadways. Flood waters became so severe in the County that some bridges have washed away over swollen waterways.

The flooding that is occurring is the worst to hit the area in nearly twelve years. This week’s rain will only add to the double digit totals that have saturated the region. Forecasters warn of many threats associated with the unusually high rainfall totals they include flooded waterways, and the ability for trees to easily fall over due to the extremely moist ground exposing root structures. Motorist should not drive in areas of standing water as depth is not always easy to calculate based upon the observations of the naked eye.

The rain is expected to taper off by the end of the week and along with its departure will also come the departure of the above average temperatures that have dominated December. More seasonable temperatures are expected to return with highs in the 50’s and lows in the 30’s with drier conditions dominating next weeks forecast.

Uhaul Trailers washed into Tanyard Creek along U.S. 29 next to Sara Jay Restaurant in Lanett.
Uhaul Trailers washed into Tanyard Creek along
U.S. 29 next to Sara Jay Restaurant in Lanett.

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