Days after rain, rivers still rising

Flood warnings for Brantley, Clinch, Glynn, Hamilton, Suwannee, Ware counties

Published On: Mar 01 2013 01:13:30 PM EST   Updated On: Mar 01 2013 01:18:01 PM EST
WAYCROSS, Ga. -

Several counties in southeast Georgia and north central Florida remain under flood warnings as the runoff of heavy rains at the beginning of the week are causing rivers to overflow their banks.

The Altamaha River near at the Glynn-McIntosh County border was at 13.5 feet at midday Friday and expected to rise to 15.1 feet on Sunday and over at near-major flood stage for a few days.

Altamaha Park Road and Pennick Road and portions of Altamaha Park become inundated when the river passes 13 feet. Flood stage at that measuring station is 16.8 feet.

Glynn, Mcintosh and Wayne counties remain under a flood watch due to the Altamaha River overflowing its banks.

To the west, the Satilla River near Waycross was expected to peak Friday afternoon at 19.4 feet -- over 3 feet above flood stage and just shy of qualifying as a major flood event. Moderate flooding is occurring, mostly to agricultural and timber lands.

Down river at Atkinson, the Satilla was at 13.6 feet at midday Friday and expected to continue to rise. It was forecast to reach 16.3 feet Monday night and cause minor flooding.

Authorities shut down a wastewater treatment plant in Valdosta as the Withlacoochee River flooded critical buildings and structures. City officials said power at the plant was shut down to prevent further damage to equipment and control systems.

The Valdosta Times reported that 8 to 10 inches of rain coupled with rainwater from upstream caused the river to flood the plant. The city is not purposely releasing untreated waste, but it is flowing out through submerged manholes.

The city estimates an average of 5 million to 6 million gallons of untreated sewage will discharge daily into the Withlacoochee River until the flood waters recede and the plant can resume operation.

The Withlacoochee is still rising at the Florida-Georgia Border -- northwest of Live Oak, and expected to cause moderate flooding when Saturday through Tuesday.

The Withlacoochee is a tributary of the Suwannee River, which was below flood stage on Friday, but expected to rise another 14 feet by Tuesday at U.S. Highway 90, reaching 3 feet above flood stage and cause minor flooding.

A flood warning continues for Hamilton, Madison and Suwannee counties in Florida.