Heavy rainfall could increase risk of post-storm tree damage

Heavy rainfall could increase risk of post-storm tree damage

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - Columbus Public Works employees spent Tuesday surveying areas that flooded during Monday's severe weather, checking drains and pipes for any blockages.

With the flash flooding also came saturated soil, which could cause post-storm dangers.

Uprooted trees can cause property damage and even claimed the life of a West Point child this summer when a large tree fell on the family's home.

However, experts in Columbus say you can take action to minimize your risks.

"Go out and look for broken limbs, and make sure if there are limbs up there that are broken, that you get them out of there so they don't get knocked out with the next round," said Pat Biegler, Public Works Director in Columbus.

You can also look for even the smallest sign of uprooting at the base of your tree, which could worsen with more rainfall. However, another sign of a tree that causes damage in a storm might not be as obvious.

"If you can get to it, see if the tree is hollow where the limb is broken off. If it is, then you need to call in an expert to deal with it," said Biegler.

You can take these steps to protect your home in severe weather, but keeping your car safe can be a little trickier as some in the valley found out Monday night.

Drivers on Veterans Parkway in Columbus found flooding conditions that trapped multiple people.

Officials with FEMA remind everyone that only six inches of water can be enough to stall your car, and only a foot of water can cause it to float. Officials also say that just two feet of rushing water can carry away most cars, including pick-up trucks

"What we've had is so much rain that it's just overwhelmed the system. The pipes can only hold so much water and move it so fast," said Biegler.

Experts also say you should survey the area outside your home following a heavy storm, looking for smaller debris that could clog drains and pipes.

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