Wiregrass EMA officials monitoring flooding and river levels
HOUSTON CO., AL (WSFA) - Sub-Tropical Storm Alberto has Emergency Management Agency officials across the Wiregrass on high alert.
"Over the last several days we've been prepping and planning to make sure we're well prepared for any type of impact that Alberto may have on this area," said Chris Judah, Houston County Emergency Management Agency Director.
The storm could bring anywhere from 3 to more than 6 inches of rain, and all 5 counties of the Wiregrass are at high risk of flooding. There is a flash flood watch in effect from now through Tuesday evening for Coffee, Dale, Geneva, Henry, and Houston County.
Flooded roads from heavy rain aren't the only concern. EMA Officials are also monitoring waterways. In Houston County – officials are closely watching the Chattahoochee River. Flooding there could impact Gordon and Columbia.
"We have taken precautions on the Georgia side already to make sure the water on our rivers are lower, so hopefully we will not experience flooding like we've had in the past," said Judah.
In Dale and Coffee County, EMA officials are monitoring the Pea River. This morning, the river was at 6.69 feet. Flooding stage is at 30 feet. Although, right now we're not close to that point – it's a waiting game to see what Alberto brings.
"What we worry about is the rain up above us that will come down the river," said James Brown, Coffee County EMA Director. "Right now they are predicting that we could be as high as 29 feet on Wednesday at 7 am. Minor flooding starts at about 30 feet. Our action phase starts at 25 feet."
At the action phase, county officials will begin to alert residents of possible evacuation plans.
In Geneva County, the main river of concern is the Choctawhatchee River.
"The river is already elevated and we are anticipating some minor flood staging – but it's nothing we're not prepared for," said Misty Wise, Geneva County EMA Director.
This morning, the river was at 8.6 feet. It's projected to reach 27 feet around midnight Thursday and recede. The concern about flooded homes begins at 30 feet.
EMA Officials stressed common sense practices with flooding – don't go around barriers or drive on streets where water covers the road. They also say this is the first drill as we move into official hurricane season, which starts June 1.
"I know sometimes people hear these messages and they get complacent. Don't get complacent with these. All it takes is one bad one to hit us and we could all be in real bad trouble," said Brown.
Copyright 2018 WSFA 12 News. All rights reserved.