Houses and businesses affected
The streets along Meadowbrook Drive were lined with moving trucks, trailers and pickup trucks on Thursday as rising flood waters caused some residents to evacuate their homes and move out their belongings.
“It has not stopped rising yet,” said home owner Jason Parker around 11 a.m. on Thursday.
While residents were not required to evacuate, many used updates from the Emergency Management Agency (EMA) to help make their decision.
“We've got some of our furniture out,” said Parker.
Parker and his family began moving possessions out of the house Wednesday.
Unfortunately, this is not the first time Parker has had to leave his home. In 2009, he and his family evacuated due to flooding just four weeks after moving into their home on Meadowbrook, which lies next to Sugar Creek.
“Now just four years later we're doing it again,” said Parker.
The 2009 flood was all too familiar for Meadowbrook resident Chad Harrison.
“We would like to thank the city and county offices for everything they have done to prevent this from happening again . . . which is nothing,” said Harrison.
Harrison's home flooded in 2009 but as of Thursday afternoon — despite being just a few houses down from Parker — he was fortunate enough not to have to move out any of his belongings.
“We should be fine at this time," said Harrison. "But there's no sure thing.”
While Harrison was upset with the lack of prevention from the local government, he was thankful for the Valdosta Police Department, the Valdosta Fire Department and Second Harvest Food Bank who all were working to assist the Meadowbrook residents any way they could.
“It’s brought our neighborhood closer together once again,” said Harrison.
By Thursday afternoon, water had engulfed the Traditions Flooring parking lot on Gornto Road and was encroaching into the building. Floodwaters had also filled the parking lots of the YMCA and Creekside Tavern, but had not yet reached either building. In 2009, both facilities were breached by several feet of floodwater.
Creekside is closed until at least Saturday but the YMCA has remained open, according to CEO Larry Tobey.
“I can’t tell you how much we appreciate Ashley Tye (emergency manager for Lowndes County). He has been keeping us updated, even through the night, to make sure we knew what to expect. As far as we can tell, the water has crested and should start receding sometime tomorrow,” Tobey said.