Columbus Preps for Heavy Rains

By Lindsey Connell - bio | e-mail

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) -  "The water came so fast and got up so high, they were wondering what was going on."

Residents along Robert E Lee Drive and Artillery Drive on the south side of Columbus say recent flooding has devastated homes in their neighborhood . Some folks are still recovering.

"The other day these people were still throwing stuff away. They just picked a bunch of stuff out of his yard the other day," said Richard Carter.

With a dismal forecast for the days ahead, they're hoping for best and planning for the worst and looking to local leaders for assistance.

City officials say they've already started gearing up for the rains, clearing drains, inlets and culverts across the city.

Crews are hitting parts of the city prone to flooding with trucks that suck up debris.

"We have four of those that are out throughout the city and each of those crews have about 16 locations they have to go through, cleaning inlets, head walls and drains out to help the water flow free," said Deputy City Manager Lisa Goodwin.

But officials are asking residents to be proactive as well.

"If you have a drain outside your home or ditch that you see where there's a lot of debris, give us a call but go outside that street along your roadway and remove that debris, remove those leaves so that if and when it rains, the water can flow freely- that's the big thing. Flooding is going to continue but what we can do is help minimize that type of flooding,"Goodwin said.

Crews are also getting barricades ready to block off intersections and underpasses if they flood to prevent drivers from getting stranded.

The City Manager's office will to go before council next week to address the flooding problems in Columbus and offer solutions.