Rain Causing Savannah River To Rise In Augusta

With all the recent rain the Savannah River keeps rising and it's only
going to get worse and more dangerous. The Army
Corps of Engineers announced they are releasing water from Hartwell, Russell
and Thurmond lakes for the next few weeks.

Officials say the rains caused lake levels to rise, which means they had to
open up the flood gates. Down river in Augusta, we are
starting to see the effects.

Last month was the wettest June
for the city of Augusta. The garden city had a record 10.83 inches of rain last
month and it looks like the rain will continue for a while.

“Well, at first it was good,
but now I'm starting to really wonder if I live in Seattle, Washington or
London, or somewhere else,” says Kimberly
Willard of Augusta, GA.

“I think that it's wonderful
actually because it's been keeping the heat down for this summer and I just
think it's an act of God and actually, he's showing a lot of blessings to
us,” says Brandon Latham of Atlanta, GA.

The large amounts of rain are
causing the Savannah River to rise. The Riverwalk Marina is starting to flood in some areas. The boat ramp and most of the parking lot are flooded by the rising
river.

“It's kind of crazy. I've never
seen it this high before so that's why I wanted to come check it out. Never
seen the water this high in the Savannah River,” says Ryan O'Neil of Evans, GA.

Although he is selling his home now, Ted Johnson has lived on
the Savannah River for 23 years. He says even though the river levels are higher
than usual, he isn't worried about flooding.

“Over the 23 years, we have
probably experienced water of levels in the range of what we are seeing here
about four to five times,” says Johnson.

Johnson says the river was at its
highest during the Flood of 1990. He says his deck and gazebo were covered by
about 3 feet of water. Over the next several weeks, the river could go even
higher as the Corp of Engineers will be releasing more water from Thurmond Dam.
Engineers will also test the spillway for a couple of hours on Thursday. But
Johnson says he doesn't expect flooding near his home.

“I think what they were
trying to tell people is don't expect that the river level is going to drop
very quick in the next few days. Because now they are going to start doing
their release. So we will probably see this high water for, I don't know, a
week,” says Johnson.

Officials say river velocities are going be much higher than normal over the
next several weeks. They are warning boaters and anyone using the river to wear
a life jacket at all times. There have also been reports of large
debris in the Savannah River.

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