Public works helps to solve surge of problems after wet weather

Public Works manager Donell Mathis checks for mosquito larva in stagnant water pools, a popular breeding ground

/ Colby Gallagher

Water, water everywhere and not a drop to spare. Every ditch, drain and runoff must be checked by Public Works after a rainfall of more than one inch.

"We do respond after rain events and check the system to make sure we don't have any blockages and build up of debris that actually flows down through the water as it goes through our system," said Public Works Director, Larry Cook.

On top of these duties, the department must also wade through pages of complaints and make house calls to address those concerns.

"We go out to the homes and do an inspection around the homes to see if there's anything that's causing problems with mosquitoes. Do they have mosquitoes in the bird bath, dog bowl dish or tires or buckets or anything of that nature," said Donell Mathis, Public Works Manager.

Mathis dips a cup attached to a pole into stagnant water to see if there's any larva moving around to decide where the problem may swim. While scooping water may seem like an easy task, it's a step that can keep you and your loved ones safe.

"With as much West Nile going on, we don't want to get bit. I've got health problems, my wife's got health problems and I don't want to lose these horses even though we vaccinate them every year," said Ron Peyton, who called Mathis out to his farm.

With five cases of West Nile Virus confirmed in our county this season, it's more important than ever to communicate with public works.

"We don't want anyone in Albany or anywhere else to get West Nile Virus so it's our concern because that's the job that we're doing. Protect the citizens, but they also have to do some things to protect themselves," said Mathis.

Remember to dump any standing water around your home and fill the areas with sand so they don't collect rain and wear bug spray as much as possible to ensure you don't become a statistic.

"I don't want to be one of them," said Peyton.

To make sure your land isn't hiding any bundles of mosquitoes, contact the Dougherty County Public Works at 229-430-6120.

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