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River flooding causes closings in Middle Georgia. And more rain is on the way.

After a spell of bone-dry weather, Middle Georgia is suddenly grappling with flooding, and more rain is on the way.

Macon-Bibb County on Sunday closed the Ocmulgee Heritage Trail, as well as part of Amerson River Park. The Ocmulgee River hit 22 feet on Monday, past the minor flood stage of 18 feet. The National Weather Service projected it to start receding Monday. Before the rise, the river was running at around six feet.

Spencer Hawkins, director of the Macon-Bibb Emergency Management Agency, said he isn’t sure when the flooding might recede enough to reopen the closed areas. The boat landing and take out at Amerson, as well as dirt trails there, are closed but the rest of the park will remain open.

Hawkins said it’s not just the rainfall in Middle Georgia that has led to the river rising, but extensive rainfall in north Georgia. He said flood gates have been opened on Lake Jackson, and that feeds into the Ocmulgee, contributing to the rise.

Also, Hawkins noted, dry ground doesn’t necessarily always absorb water as readily as people may think. When there is a sudden deluge of rain as Middle Georgia has seen in recent days, that can run off of dry ground until it gets wet enough to start absorbing rain more readily.

Rains and thunderstorms are in the forecast through Wednesday, and Hawkins urged people to remain alert, including for flash flooding.

“It doesn’t take a hurricane, it doesn’t take a tornado to cause some problems,” he said. “We want people to be weather aware.”

Forecast

  • Monday afternoon: Showers and thunderstorms likely. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 85. West wind around 5 mph. Chance of precipitation is 60%.
  • Monday night: Showers and thunderstorms likely before 11 p.m., then a slight chance of showers between 11 p.m and 1 a.m. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 69. Northwest wind around 5 mph. Chance of precipitation is 60%.
  • Tuesday: A 20 percent chance of showers after 3 p.m. Mostly sunny, with a high near 84. Northeast wind 5 to 10 mph.
  • Tuesday night: A slight chance of showers, then a chance of showers and thunderstorms after 9 p.m. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 66. East wind 5 to 10 mph, with gusts as high as 15 mph. Chance of precipitation is 40%.
  • Wednesday: A 50 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 77. Northeast wind 5 to 10 mph.
  • Wednesday night: A 20 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 64.
  • Thursday: Mostly sunny, with a high near 85.
  • Thursday night: Mostly clear, with a low around 59.
  • Friday: Sunny, with a high near 85.
  • Friday night: Mostly clear, with a low around 64.
  • Saturday: A 20 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Mostly sunny, with a high near 89.
  • Saturday night: Partly cloudy, with a low around 68.
  • Sunday: A 30 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Mostly sunny, with a high near 90.
  • Sunday night: A 30 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 69.
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