On Your Side: Severe Weather Preparedness Week

Published: Feb. 10, 2023 at 7:09 PM EST
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - Flooding is something that can happen fast, and at times it can be unexpected.

It only takes six inches of water to knock you completely off your feet. At about 12 inches small cars and sedans could begin to float. Two feet of water can cause SUVs and large trucks to float.

We had the chance to talk with emergency management in Columbia County about the importance of severe weather preparedness and a local pastor impacted by flooding.

Friday marked the last day of Severe Weather Preparedness Week for Georgia. Each day had a designated focus with today’s focus being on flooding.

Columbia County EMA says being prepared for severe weather before it happens is critical.

“One of the most important pieces of preparedness is having a preparedness kit ready for an individual or family,” said Corbin Cooney, training and planning specialist with Columbia County EMA.

Reverend Melvin Ivey knows how important flood safety is. He’s the pastor for Greater Saint John Baptist Church of Ellis Street where flooding is something they’ve gotten used to.

“It just takes a small amount. If we have continuous rain for a period of time, you’re going to see the water flowing down. The way this particular neighborhood is structured ... it’s sort of a sloping,” he said.

Emergency officials say having an evacuation plan to get to higher ground is crucial. Be sure to remember the phrase: “turn around, don’t drown”.

Cooney said: “You approach an area that has water coming over the road, and one of the dangers of that is you don’t know how deep the water is or what’s under the water.”

Ivey knows the danger of floods from experience.

“You could be walking straight one moment, the next minute you could find yourself being sucked under. One thing I know about being an old Navy man is water is unpredictable, so you have to respect it,” he said.