N. GA bridge washes out, trapping people on other side - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

N. GA bridge washes out, trapping people on other side

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GILMER COUNTY, GA (CBS46) -

There is only one way across Clear Creek, on White Oak Drive, and the bridge people used is now gone.

Heavy rains washed out the road in dramatic fashion. Cell phone video, captured by a woman trapped on the other side, shows giant drainage ditches getting washed down the creek. The metal pipe was no match for a creek swollen by 6 to 8 inches of rain.

"They are going to tie a line from one side of the creek, you know for rescue line, in case an emergency was to happen," trapped resident Jonathan Carver said. "If somebody gets hurt, we can get them across."

Carver said he and his neighbors have water and electricity, but with the water running so swiftly, it's impossible to cross. Carver plans to wait through the night, and possibly cross tomorrow.

"We can probably be able to get out tomorrow," Carver said. "We can get a truck and cross the street or get a four wheeler across."

An estimated 20 to 30 people are trapped on the other side of the river, according to Carver.

The fire chief and EMA director for Gilmer County, Tony Pritchett, said this is some of the worst flooding he has seen since Hurricane Ivan, in 2004.

"As far as destroyed, I am not quite clear," Pritchett said.  "As far as an estimate on overall damage, I would say 40 to 50 homes damaged or destroyed."

Pritchett also said 100,000 chickens at Mountain Valley Farms were swept away by the flood.  Water from Clear Creek rushed through their chicken coops, sending them downstream.

Pritchett also said a majority of the homes that were flooded are on Blackberry Mountain Road. 

The Georgia Emergency Management Agency was in Gilmer County on Thursday assessing the damage.

Stay with CBSAtlanta.com for continuing updates on this story.

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