Flood waters threaten homes and businesses in Columbus

benw@ledger-enquirer.comJanuary 11, 2014 

Street flooding encroaches on a house at Thornhill Drive in east Columbus Saturday after heavy rain hit the area earlier in the day. Resident Tony Harrelson, whose mother owns and lives in the home, called city services, and said a crew was on the way to clear the drains. 01.11.14

ROBIN TRIMARCHI — rtrimarchi@ledger-enquirer.com

A storm that dumped up to 2 inches of rain in the Columbus area was enough to send creek waters rising Saturday near To-Mar Garden Center on Macon Road.

Neal Womack, the owner of the 6301 Macon Road business, said a worker noticed water rising near the west side of the building and alerted him. “I was worried about my plants,” said Womack, who has operated the center since 1982.

WRBL-News 3 meteorologist Bob Jeswald said the rain was part of a system that moved into the area just before midnight Friday and lasted until about 1 p.m. Saturday. The system sent thunderstorms to Chambers and Randolph counties in Alabama and Troup County in Georgia.

“It was a lot of rain in a short period of time,” Jeswald said.

Jeswald said there also were some reports of hail in south Columbus and Fort Benning with wind gusts at 40-45 mph. “It could have been worse,” he said.

Womack said the drain pipe behind his business became clogged with water and debris from Flat Rock Creek. The pipe runs beneath Macon Road and empties into Bull Creek. He used his tractor to help clear the pipe of debris until a city crew can clear the line.

A section of Thornhill Drive, a nearby street in the Elon subdivision, was underwater in front of 6325 Thornhill Drive. Tony Harrelson said he had to call 911 to get a crew out to unclog the drain serving his mother’s house and other homes in the area.

“There is a large drain,” he said. “It’s supposed to get everything from these houses.”

Harrelson said city crews have taken care of the drain for the last three or four years. Many times, the crews work until early in the morning to make sure the drain is clear. “Something is caught in it,” he said.

The water was a few feet from his mother’s home, but he felt confident the city would get the drain open in time.

“I’m satisfied with these guys,” Harrelson said. “They always come.”

Jeswald said residents can expect a low temperature Sunday of about 39 degrees and a high in the upper 60s.

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