Spalding County

Heavy rain in the forecast prompts concern by Griffin residents living near dam under construction

GRIFFIN, Ga. — People who live near a reservoir dam under construction say the heavy rain in the forecast tomorrow mean they will have to travel longer distances because of expected road closures.

Crews in Griffin are planning just in case they have to shut down five roads to bridges near the dam out of fear of flooding.

“It’s insane. It’s insane,” Ed Liberacki told Channel 2′s Tom Jones.

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He is talking about how he had to search for new routes home and to visit relatives amid a series of road closures in the area.

“Oh, it was aggravating, very aggravating,” Kasey Yarbrough explained.

Frustrated residents say they will need a full tank of gas to get around the road closures and that they’re sick and tired of the road and bridge closures they have to endure whenever heavy rains are in the forecast.

“You have to go all the way out of your way just to come see somebody. All my family is over on this road,” Yarbrough told Channel 2 Action News.


Liberacki said he has to travel even longer distances.

“So I have to go all the way up to 1941. All the way up into Williamson and all the way back around just for a straightaway,” he said.

Channel 2 Action News was there a couple of weeks ago when frustrated drivers had to deal with road closures after heavy rains.

Jones was back to see crews put signs on the side of five roads to bridges just in case expected heavy rains Saturday overwhelm the Heads Creek Reservoir Dam.

“We will be closing those roads if the water level reaches 764 feet above sea level,” Brandon Lewis with the City of Griffin told Jones.

The reservoir dam can only hold another one to two feet of water before it could possibly fail like it did in March last year.

“We don’t anticipate that kind of an issue,” Lewis explained.

The dam, built in 1964, is being rehabilitated to bring it up to modern construction standards. Recent rains, including three to five inches on Thursday, aren’t helping.

Lewis said rain isn’t the best friend of workers trying to complete the project. Also not the best friend of people who live in this area and have to deal with the road closures.

“I don’t know what the problem is but it’s insane,” Liberacki told Channel 2 Action News.

The city says the possible road closures are out of an abundance of caution. It doesn’t want people on the roads in case of flooding. They’ll be watching the skies and be ready to shut the roads down if they need to.

The dam project is expected to wrap up between late March and early April.

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