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Macon County braces for Flint River flooding, residents remember the flood of '94

County EMA director says they don't expect flooding in Montezuma, but Peach Tree Estates homes in Oglethorpe could see some flooding

MACON COUNTY, Ga. — One of the main weather concerns after storms in Central Georgia is river flooding. One of the rising rivers is the Flint River. This runs through Macon County, where Tropical Storm Alberto engulfed the river causing the flood of 1994, devastating the city of Montezuma.

On Tuesday, residents are prepping for the incoming waters.

Joy Neilson was working for the Housing Authority back in 1994 and she remembers what she felt during the breach.

"I looked out the front door of the office building and the water was going over the bridge at the railroad and it kind of makes your heart stop," she said.

The building sat on Dooly Street on the opposite side of the railroad tracks from downtown. She says as the water started rushing she began to panic.

"I'm like 'what am I going to do because my house is on the other side and I'm up here and I can't leave work,'" Neilson said.

She said she remembers being concerned about all of her clients, but was also concerned about her family. 

Meanwhile, Carl Adams saw the flood from the other side of the tracks.

"I owned an insurance center in downtown Montezuma," Adams said.

He was already expecting the flood, due to the amount of rain they saw the day before the breach. As soon as the water hit, they began trying to pack up shop.

"We were waiting and it got knee deep, then about waist deep," he said.

Soon, the river reached 27 feet, flooding Montezuma by over 18 feet. They have since raised the levee to help better protect the area. 

County EMA Director Roy Yoder says they are also grateful the dam in Griffin didn't break.  

"The dam didn't break in Griffin. It overflowed, but it contained it. If those waters would have come out then we would have had a problem down here," he said.

"It's a relief to not have to go through that again," Neilson said.

Yoder says flooding is not expected in Montezuma, but Peach Tree Estates in Oglethorpe may see some.

"It's moderate flooding, it isn't into trailers there, but its getting real close," Yoder said.

Yoder has suggested a voluntary evacuation for folks living in the park. That would affect about 25 to 35 people. 

He says they aren't opening any shelters at this time.  If the river does reach 27 feet, which they don't expect, the county is prepared to add sandbags near the railroad tracks.

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