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Warner Robins to host Bay Gall Creek public information forum Thursday

For the past 8 months, the city has collected soil samples and studying the sediment, erosion, and access points with an outside agency.

WARNER ROBINS, Ga. — Warner Robins is going to host a public information session on Thursday about fixing Bay Gall Creek.

Right now, the majority of the creek looks and feels like sand. But, depending on the weather and time of day, it can hold several inches of water.

For a lot of people in Warner Robins, mentioning Bay Gall Creek brings back a lot of memories.

"I used to swim in that creek when I was a kid. It used to get high, and it would flood and run up on the road," Jones said.

Ricky Jones says he remembers a flood washing out several "Bay Gall Bottom" homes in 94' and 95'.

"They lost their home. They lost their clothing. You know, they didn't have nothing. You know, they had to start all over again," Jones said.

Over the years, the creek's history of flooding and clogging has been a concern for many.

That's why, last year, Warner Robins hired Integrated Science & Engineering, INC. to collect data on Bay Gall Creek.

For the past 8 months, they've been collecting soil samples and studying the sediment, erosion, and access points.

"They need to come out and cut the creek out, make it deeper so it'll flow better," Jones said.

"We've addressed those concerns when we can and gave answers that were factual. We're not ignoring the situation; and once again, it's not as easy as everybody thinks that we can just come in and start mowing down and taking out trees and removing sediment. It's a bigger issue than that. We are very restricted in what we can do," Woodyard said.

Stormwater Compliance Director Krag Woodyard says that at Thursday's public information session, they will share the data and discuss ways to clean and maintain the creek.

"The reason why we are having this meeting tomorrow is to get this information out to the citizens that it's not that we are not trying to do something. We want to make sure we do everything legally and correctly by the state and federal guidelines," Woodyard said.

Woodyard says dealing with sediment and erosion control in Bay Gall Greek requires permitting.

"When we start removing sediment, we are dealing with the U.S. Code of Army of Engineers. When we start to deal with side slopes, we are dealing with the Georgia EPD. There's going to be buffer variances that are required to do work in the Bay Gall. So, there are certain areas that we are not restricted, road right away areas within a certain distance; but most protected of the Bay Gall is protected by the waters of the state and we have restrictions on what we can do and what we can't do, based on the classifications of it being an an intermediate perennial stream," Woodyard said.

Bay Gall Creek is about about 8.5 miles long, spanning through a few cities, including Warner Robins.

"Even though you don't see any water in it today, if you were to dig down, you would see surface water come up. We're not ignoring the situation; and once again, it's not as easy as everybody thinks that we can just come in and start mowing down and taking out trees and removing sediment. It's a bigger issue than that. We are very restricted in what we can do," Woodyard said.

"If they clean it out and keep it clean and keep the bushes and stuff out of it, it'll be able to flow. But other than that, you know, they do a good job," Jones said.

Thursday afternoon will be the city's first time releasing the report.

You can scan their QR code tomorrow to download the full copy.

"We encourage the residents to attend or those that have concerns about the Bay Gall. This is information for them, but also we will field questions at the end of the session, as well as, if we don't have answers to the questions as that time, we will fact find and find them for them," Woodyard said.

The meeting is at 1pm, Thursday in City Hall's Carolyn Robbins Conference room.

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