In the flood of 94, about 10 inches of rain fell in central and north georgia.. causing the ocmulgee to oveflow its banks.
Today, Candace Adorka asked what the city has learned from that experience.
<all this was under water when we got here, we were sitting here when half of a house came floating down >
When Johnny Wingers recalls the flood of 94, it's with a hint of wonder.
<When all the water came down these trees down here you should have seen the debris in it we had styrofoam coolers, clothes, everything else in the trees around here.>
Wingers was director of Bibb County's Emergency management agency back then. He had to deal with a breached levee, interstate 75 and 16 underwater, and no potable water in the city for 21 days.
<The firemen were just great during this time we had volunteers coming in and you drive by and pick up your water and keep moving, kind of like a drive through.>
<it was back up in this area>
Don Druitt, the current EMA director, says the major lesson learned from the 94 flood was to rebuld the water treatment plant higher.
<our water treatment plant has been moved to a much safer area and actually been renovated remodled and built into a safer area so we shouldn't have a problem with our water supply.>
Druit says they're also dilligent about keeping drains and ditches cleared out, and upgraded technology makes it easier to communicate with the public. But he says they're always looking for ways to do better.-- after the river crests this week, Druitt says they'll study the river for ways to prepare for worse flooding.
<we'll take pictures and sit down with som eof the departments and talk about did we see less flooding now that we did some time in the past and we cal learn from the things that w've gleaned and put in best practices and make improvements >
Now some members of our staff... Have been in Central Georgia long enough to remember the '94 floods... Experiencing the water outage and everything else.
Among them, our chief meteorologist Ben Jones.
What better time to host a career fair... than in February - which is Career and Technical Education Month.
Three central Georgia school districts teamed up with Middle Georgia Technical College for one of the largest in the area..
But as Lorra Lynch Jones explains... this event takes a unique approach.
Over 800 high school sophomores walked the aisles of Galleria Mall's Conference Center...
Searching for advice on finding a career path.
<focusing on careers again in the 10th grade give students an opportunity to evaluate the decisions they made in the middle school, and it helps them connect better to some of our local employers. >
Representatives from 82 local businesses showed up for the fair...
All looking to introduce students to their line of work...
All keeping one word in mind... Bingo.
<bingo stands for businesses schools and industries navigating students through Georgia's occupations >
During the fair... students were given a bingo card...
Not to play the popular game.. but to help them during their career search.
<on the bingo card are different questions that they can go and ask some of the employers. In the center spot on the card is see a soft skills specialist. >
<it's to recognize how they present themselves. Presentation is all about how they dress, how they talk. >
Warner Robins High student, Christopher Gale, spent the morning using those soft skills.
While making his first impression on employers.
<i've learned Today that there are many different options that I can do to prepare myself. >
<like during the interviews, things that you should or should not do, such as smile and have a firm handshake, and just keep a positive attitude. >
Christopher says being in high school gives him enough time to decide what direction he'll go in his career choice.
Until then... He's having fun exploring his options.
< I saw many things such as Walgreens over there which is a pharmacy. >
<there was construction, and it's just many different things. It's not a particular one thing that I'm interested in, it's a variety of things. >
Organizers say this is their first time hosting the fair at the Galleria Mall.
Former Macon Mayor C. Jack Ellis lashed out at state lawmakers today for converting elected positions to nonpartisan after voters approved consolidation.
Ellis talked about consolidation... Nonpartisan elections and other issues during a taping of this week's Close-Up program.
He accused Republicans of misleading Democrats on the nonpartisan issue.
< C. Jack Ellis, former Macon Mayor: To say to the Democrats well, you are right, we will compromise. We'll take the sheriff as the top cop. We'll give you partisan elections, and then to turn right around and change it, that is underhanded. That is scheming and that has no place in local politics>
State lawmakers approved nonpartisan elections for the new consolidated Macon and Bibb County governments this week.
They set the third Tuesday in July as election day.
Now it's up to Governor Nathan Deal.... who's expected to sign the bill... and then the U-S Department of Justice.
But opponents, like former Macon mayor C. Jack Ellis say it violates the 1965 Voting Rights Act by reducing minority voting strength.. Especially by holding the election in July rather than in November.
Opponents say the Department of Justice recently overturned a similar effort in Augusta... and they'll ask them to overturn the Macon-Bibb change as well.
Mercer University Law Professor David Oedel joins Randall Savage now to talk about the issue.
For C-Jack Ellis's thoughts on non-partisan elections and more... you can catch an entire episode of Close-Up at noon Saturday and at 6 a.m. Sunday on 13WMAZ.
Here in central Georgia... St. Joseph's Catholic Church on Poplar Street held Ash Wednesday mass this morning.
That's when the faithful receive ashes on their forehead. A symbol of Lent... the Christian season of fasting... and repentance.
They ... And other Catholic churches in the region continue Ash Wednesday services into the evening.
Despite the pope's resignation... Pastor Allan McDonald continues to have confidence in the church.
<he is in a sense abandoning the church, but he realizes that the church isn't about him as a person but about jesus christ. Jesus christ will provide another successor to st. peter >
The pope will step down on February 28th.