U.S. Geological Survey

Flint River Basin Flood-Tracking
U.S. Geological Survey, Georgia District

USGS HydroWatch home page:

U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 01-325
By Brian L. Cochran, Brian E. McCallum, Timothy C. Stamey, and Caryl J. Wipperfurth
This URL: http://ga2.er.usgs.gov/HydroWatch/ftprintfriendly.cfm
Version date: 12/14/2001


The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), in cooperation with other Federal, State, and local agencies, operates a Flood Monitoring System in the Flint River Basin. This Flint River Basin Flood-Tracking Chart can be used by local citizens and emergency response personnel to record the latest river stage and predicted flood-crest information along the Flint River and Kinchafoonee, Muckalee, Ichawaynochaway, and Spring Creeks.

Flood Monitoring in the Flint River Basin

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), in cooperation with other Federal, State, and local agencies, operates a Flood Monitoring System in the Flint River Basin. This system is a network of automated river stage stations (eleven are shown in this report) that transmit stage data through satellite and telephone telemetry to the USGS Georgia District Office in Atlanta. During floods the public and emergency response agencies use this information to make decisions about road closures, evacuations, and other public safety issues. The emergency phone number for your area is listed in the local flood emergency phone numbers section.

Typical flood-monitoring gage composed of a water stilling well and a gage house that shelters stage-recording equipment atop the stilling well This picture shows a typical flood-monitoring gage composed of a water stilling well and a gage house that shelters stage-recording equipment atop the stilling well. Gages are normally mounted to bridges where the river stage data are transmitted to the Georgia District Office (http://ga.water.usgs.gov/) in Atlanta.

Flood Hazards Areas

Flood maps and publications from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Federal Insurance Administration are available for review at the local Department of Public Works, Building Permit offices, and local public libraries. Flood zone determinations are provided by the local Department of Public Works and Building Permit office. Research the information provided at these offices before you build or make any attempt to floodproof your home or property.

Floodproofing or elevating your home

When elevating or floodproofing new or existing structures, consult a design professional, architect, structural engineer, or licensed contractor for advice. These generally are knowledgeable and experienced in floodproofing methods.

Many houses, even those not in the floodplain, have sewers that back up during heavy rains. One possible solution is to have a plumber install a plug, stand-pipe, or backup valve. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has pub-ished manuals on floodproofing that are available at your local library.

Flood insurance for homeowners

Regular homeowner's insurance policies do not cover damage from floods; however, in com- munities that participate in FEMA's National Flood Insurance Program, separate flood insurance is available. This insurance is backed by the Federal government and is available in the participating communities to everyone, even for properties that have previ-ously flooded. Information about flood insurance is available through local insurance agents. Flood insurance must be purchased 30 days prior to any claims.

Some homeowners have purchased flood insurance because it was required when they obtained a mortgage or home improvement loan. These policies may cover only the structure and not the contents. During floods, damage to furnishings inside the structure may be costly. Check your flood insurance policy to see if your home's contents are covered; if not, you might want to add this coverage.

Flood safety and property protection measures

If your property is known to flood or is located in a flood-hazard area and flood warnings are issued, take all necessary and appropriate steps to protect your family and property. These include sand-bagging; turning off all electrical circuits and gas lines; and elevating furniture, carpets, and appliances such as refrigerators, washing machines, clothes dryers, water heaters, and air conditioning compressor units.

Surviving a flood - dos and don'ts

¤  Do leave if local authorities recommend evacuation. Their advice is based on knowledge of the predicted magnitude of the flood and the potential for death and destruction.

¤  Do not walk through flowing water. Drowning is the number one cause of flood deaths. Water currents can be deceptive; shallow but fast-moving water can knock you off your feet.

¤  Do not drive through a flooded area. More people drown in their cars than anywhere else. Don't drive around road barriers—they are put up for your protection—the road or bridge beyond the barrier may be washed out.

¤  Do not drink floodwater. Floodwaters carry harmful pollutants and waterborne diseases that can result in illness or death. When flooding interrupts normal drinking-water supply, consider bottled water or treating other forms of safe supply such as spring water, rainfall, or lake and stream water from areas not affected by the flood. Treatment methods include boiling, disinfection, and distillation.

¤  Stay away from power lines and electrical wires. The number two cause of flood deaths is electroution. Electrical current can travel through water. Report downed power lines to the power company or city/county emergency management office.

¤  Be alert for gas leaks. Use a flashlight to inspect for damage. Don't smoke or use candles, lanterns, or open flames unless you know the gas has been turned off and the area has been ventilated.

¤  Look before you step. Small animals that have been flooded out of their homes may seek shelter in yours, so use caution when entering flooded buildings. Also, floodwaters will cover floors with slippery mud that can contain broken or dangerous objects.

¤  Be extremely cautious using recently flooded electrical equipment. Some appliances such as television sets, keep electrical charges even after they have been unplugged. Don't use appliances or motors that have gotten wet unless they have been taken apart, cleaned, and dried.

For more information:

If you would like more information about one of the following agencies, please call, e-mail, or check the following web sites:

U.S. Geological Survey
   Office of the District Chief, Georgia
   phone: 770.903.9100
   e-mail: dc_ga@usgs.gov
   url: http://ga.water.usgs.gov

Georgia Emergency Management Agency
   phone: 1.800.TRY.GEMA or 404.635.7000
   url: http://www.gema.state.ga.us

Georgia Department of Natural Resources
   phone: 1.800.241.34113
   url: http://www.state.ga.us/dnr

National Weather Service—
   Southeast River Forecast Center
   phone: 770.486.0028
   url: http://www.srh.noaa.gov/serfc

Flint River Water Planning and Policy Center
   phone: 229.430.3851
   url: http://www.h2opolicycenter.org/

Georgia Floodplain Management Office
   phone: 404.656.6382

Federal Emergency Management Agency
   url: http://www.fema.gov

American Red Cross
   phone: 404.876.3302
   url: www.redcross.org
   (To find your local Chapter, enter your zip code.)

Local county flood emergency phone numbers

CountyPhone numberCountyPhone number
Lee229.435.5402 Macon478.472.3575

Flood-tracking chart for the Flint River Basin, Georgia

A map of the Flint River basin and the 11 flood-tracking stations can be found at the USGS Flint River flood-tracking website at http://ga2.er.usgs.gov/HydroWatch/FloodTracking.cfm. For the 11 stations, charts are provided that show historical flood-stage peak levels and a scale bar where you can plot current river-stage readings. The text that accompanies the charts is below.

The Flint River Basin Flood-Tracking Chart can be used by local citizens and emergency response personnel to record the latest river stage and predicted flood-crest information along the Flint River and Kinchafoonee, Muckalee, Ichawaynochaway, and Spring Creeks. By comparing the current stage (water-surface level above a datum) and predicted flood crest to the recorded peak stages of previous floods, emergency response personnel and residents can make informed decisions concerning the threat to life and property.

This chart shows a map of the basin with the location of selected real-time river stage stations, which are listed by name and station number. For each site, colored bars represent the five highest recorded peak stages and the years in which they occurred. The white bar provides a scale on which to record the most recently reported river stage from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). The USGS Georgia District displays available real-time river stage data on the World Wide Web at http://water.usgs.gov/ga/nwis/rt.

For each of the selected stations that is a flood- forecast point, the predicted flood-crest information from the National Weather Service (NWS) can be recorded. USGS data are used by the NWS for their flood forecasting models. The NWS routinely broadcasts this forecast information to the news media and on National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Weather Radio (NWR). Current NWR broadcast frequencies can be accessed at http://www.srh.noaa.gov.

This flood-tracking website was prepared in cooperation with:

Georgia Dept. of Natural Resources (http://www.state.ga.us/drn)

National Weather Service (http://www.srh.noaa.gov/serfc)

Georgia Emergency Management Agency (http://www.gema.state.ga.us)

Flint River Water Planning and Policy Center (http://www.h2opolicycenter.org)

Flint River streamgaging network funded in part by:

Albany–Dougherty Planning Commission
Clayton County Water Authority
Crisp County Power Commission
Georgia Department of Transportation
Georgia Geological Survey
Georgia Power Company
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Mobile District

The information on this website is provided in the interest of public safety and is taken from various sources including:

American Red Cross, Food and Water in an Emergency: American Red Cross, accessed at http://www.redcross.org/ services/disaster/beprepared/foodwtr.html on August 24, 2001.

Baker, R.H., 1997, Don't build that ark!—Use the chart!: Washington, D.C., Congressman Rickard H. Baker, U.S. House of Representatives, Congress Watch, March 1997 [variously paged].

Federal Emergency Management Agency, 1994, National Flood Insurance Program Community Rating System coordinator's manual: Indianapolis, Ind., Federal Emergency Management Agency [variously paged].

For real-time streamflow data and other water-resources information, access the US Geological Survey Water Resources of Georgia Home Page at http://ga.water.usgs.gov

For National Weather Service predicted peaks and other information, access the Southeast River Forecast Center Home Page at http://www.srh.noaa.gov/serfc