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Train derailed, roads flooded after Sally punishes Washington County

Sally caused a train to derail, the rushing waters also washed out several roads.

SANDERSVILLE, Ga. — A trail derailed in Washington County Thursday afternoon after Sally battered the area throughout the morning.

The Norfolk Southern engine rolled over tracks with water on them and several of the cars tipped over in a swamp.

Overall, Sally delivered a punch to Washington County. They had a few dozen roads with water over them experiencing varying degrees of damage. Sheriff Joel Cochran says they took about 50 calls during the event and one of them came from Jean Boone.

"Water was seeping in the house and I was walking in ankle-deep water," she said.

The 67-year-old says the carpet in her home is now squishy from the natural intruder that invaded her home Thursday morning.

"I sat down and cried," she admitted.

Emergency Management Director Russell Riner got to work early when Sally came through.

"We are on East Lake Drive, it's a one way in and one way out neighborhood with a cul de sac, so this road is washed out," he said while looking at a giant gorge in the concrete.

County crews hoped to have the road passable by Thursday evening.  

He said Sally hit quickly, but the storm caused problems. 

"Never seen this much water in Washington County at one time," he said.

Sun Hill Grange Road looked more like a mini-waterfall than a county road.

Rapids rushed across the concrete.

Washington County Sheriff Joel Cochran surveyed the situation.

"I've never seen this particular stream this high -- it's phenomenal. We have not seen this before," he said.

What his deputies did see from Sally were a lot of cars trying to navigate the waters without much success.

"We've had approximately 15 calls this morning about cars shoved off the road by running water or stalled in the road, we had three overturned," he recalled.

Everyone got out OK, but Sally will certainly live in folks' memories as a storm that made its power known in Washington County.

Sally also pushed waters into Washington County Middle School.

Superintendent Ricky Edmonds says students will not go to class in buildings Friday in the county. Instead, they will do virtual learning.

He said they came to the decision because of the middle school situation and taking into consideration all of the roads in the county that are having problems.

RELATED: Washington County Schools holding class online Friday due to road conditions

RELATED: Train derails in Washington County

RELATED: Central Georgia storm damage reports (9/17/20)

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