Lee County Marshall's Office encouraging people to stay off waterways

After this weekend's rain, many waterways across southwest Georgia are at flood level.Photo: Kailey McCarthy

After this weekend's rain, many waterways across southwest Georgia are at, or near, flood level.

FOX 31 spoke to officials from the Lee County Marshall's Office who say they're encouraging all paddlers to stay off the water.

The Marshall's Office says that the Flint, Muckalee and Kinchafoonee are all flowing three to four times faster right now after the weekend storms.

Dougherty County and the surrounding areas were hit hard after this weekend's bout of storms, and because of the heavy amounts of rain, creeks are now considered dangerous.

Randy James with the Lee County Marshall's Office is encouraging boaters to stay off the water completely.

"What I would suggest for the boating public is to wait until the creek levels recede back to a normal level so the current ain't so swift before they come out here," said James.

Flooding isn't the only concern. James says there's also large amounts of debris in the creek following Hurricane Michael.

"There's still a lot of trees that have fallen after the hurricane that have crossed from one side of the creek to the other. A lot of the creek right now is impassable," said James.

With Tuesday and Wednesday being dry, James says creek levels have gone down. Although more rain in the forecast this weekend could pose as a threat.

'It's already crested and it's coming down and we look for it to come down a few more feet before the weekend gets here," said James.

Until water levels go down significantly, James says it's best to avoid the water altogether because the cold water poses additional risks.

"You've got the risk of drowning then you've got the risk of hypothermia. The water temperature is low right now," said James.

And regardless of the weather outside, James says it's imperative to have a boating plan in place.

"You need to let somebody know where you're putting in at, what time and when you anticipate on taking off the water," said James.

James says water levels are too high right now to go out and do assessments of the creek, but he says crews hope to get out on the creek late next week depending on how much rain falls this weekend.

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