Areas, roads to avoid this weekend


News 12 at 11 o'clock / Friday, July 12, 2013

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW) -- Sunlight peeking through the clouds allowed a lot of people to hit the outdoors for the first time in days.

First stop? The Riverwalk.

"This is our weekend hangout," said Sonja Porter. "We go here, we go to Lake Thurmond, we go to Diamond Lake and we love to go outside."

But all of Porter's favorite family hangouts are closed this weekend due to flooding.

"It's like you're missing out on that spare time you can spend," Porter said.

The lower level pathways of the Riverwalk are closed this weekend until further notice.

Other places to stay way from this weekend:

  • Lock and Dam Road at Doug Barnard Parkway
  • Riverwatch Parkway near Flowing Wells Road
  • Mims Road after a large sinkhole broke a water main

Boat ramps have also been shut down.

Mie Lucas, disaster preparedness coordinator with the Richmond County EMA, says the county's been busy tracking danger zones across the area.

"It's not very many roads that are actually closed," Lucas said. "It's more where we're concerned about is the boat ramps and staying off the lower walking paths of the Riverwalk."

Lucas says one of the county's biggest worries is folks seeing "do not cross" lines and completely ignoring them. She says the signs are there for a reason -- to keep everyone safe.

"We're very concerned. We don't want people to get injured," she said. "We're monitoring it, and we know it's ruining summer fun just like the rain is ruining summer fun, but we're more concerned with your safety."

And after 12 years of bringing her family out to the Riverwalk, Porter says she'll be listening to EMA and staying away from the high water.

"That was perfect initiative from them that they took, and of course, we're thankful for that," she said.

Lucas also tells News 12 that EMA is not able to do rescues in the river because the current makes it too dangerous, which is another reason they're urging everyone to stay out of the river.


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