Ocumlgee receding, flood warning could end Friday

lfabian@macon.comFebruary 13, 2013 

The Ocmulgee River was receding from a crest of of 20.81 feet in Macon about 6 a.m. Wednesday.

The Advanced Hydrologic Prediction Center now estimates the river will drop below flood stage of 18 feet by Friday afternoon.

As of 9:45 p.m. Wednesday, the water level was at 18.68 feet in Macon, .68 feet over flood stage.

Flooding also has been reported on the Flint River in Crawford, Talbot, Taylor and Upson counties. A flood warning is also posted until further notice on the Echeconnee Creek near Byron.

The Ocmulgee flood warning covers Bibb, Houston, Jones, Monroe and Twiggs counties.

Houston County emergency dispatchers reported some localized flooding during heavy rains overnight Tuesday, but the flooding cleared after the rain stopped.

At Lake Wildwood, Greentree Parkway reopened just before noon Wednesday at Colaparchee Creek once water stopped flowing over the road.

The city of Macon closed the Ocmulgee Heritage Trail as the water began spilling out of the river banks Tuesday morning. Amerson River Park at the old water works plant is also closed.

The trail, commonly known as the river walk, is expected to be closed as long as the flood warning is posted and until crews can clear the mud that is anticipated to linger after the river retreats back in its banks.

Historically, when the river reaches 21 feet, much of the river walk is under water and the bottom steps are submerged at Gateway Park near the Otis Redding Memorial Bridge.

At that level, agricultural flooding increases north and south of Macon, but moderate flooding does not occur until the river reaches 26 feet.

To put things in perspective, the Ocmulgee crested at 35.4 feet during the Great Flood of 1994.

To contact writer Liz Fabian, call 744-4303.

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