News 12 at 11 o'clock / Wednesday, July 10, 2013
COLUMBIA COUNTY, Ga. (WRDW) -- As the rain keeps coming down, the lake level is going up. It's great for boaters up there, but not so great for the people who live downstream from the dam.
On Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers upped the amount of water they are releasing for the third time this week, sending river levels up around 2 feet.
"Very helpless feeling. I mean, it's just going in," said Brenda Mills Lockee as she looked at her flooded home.
She has lived on the river since 1980, but Wednesday, it's more like living in the river. She says the waters been rising for about a week now, but she says it's the worst it's been in more than 20 years.
"If you live on the river, you expect some floods, but I feel like this could be controlled a little better," Lockee said.
At noon, the corps increased the flow from the dam again up to 37,000 cubic feet per second to open up room for more rain heading our way this weekend.
"If it gets 2 feet higher, it's gonna really do some damage here," she said.
Down the river, Denise Howard is afraid with any more water her house may flood as well.
"The water's started coming in into the yard and it's creeping up closer and closer to the house," Howard said.
The amount of water being released will stay steady through the night until the floodgate test Thursday.
"Of course, our dress wear is boots," Lockee said. "Everywhere we go, we gotta have rubber boots on."
For now, she and her family have put their furniture up on cinder blocks and are just crossing their fingers it doesn't get higher.
"Once you get everything clean, you go, 'Whew, we made it,' but you don't know when the next one's gonna happen," Lockee said.
She says one thing they worry about is when the water recedes they'll have to clean it out quickly to avoid all the mold and mildew.
But she says the biggest thing is that all the creatures that live along the banks of the river like the snakes have now washed into their yard and are living on their property.