“You say your prayers:” River floods Covington RV park, leads to water rescues

NEWTON COUNTY, Ga. — The rain-swollen Yellow River swamped a low-lying area of the Riverside Estates RV Park outside Covington.

Half a dozen people were rescued after a local RV park flooded, leaving dozens of vehicles underwater.

About a dozen RVs and several cars were flooded in the park, located off Interstate 20.

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The Newton County Sheriff’s Office issued an evacuation order at the Riverside Estates RV Park on the Yellow Riverhead of Tuesday’s severe weather, but some people decided to stay.

Channel 2′s Brian Mims talked to people who live at the park, who said the water rose at an alarming speed overnight.


Don Rogers, who lives just outside the campground, was trying to move his camper and vehicles to higher ground early Wednesday morning. He told Channel 2 Action News that he feared for his life as the water swirled around him.

“That’s crazy. You say your prayers. If God’s gonna take you, he’s gonna take you. I guess it wasn’t my time,” he said.

Newton County spokesman Bryan Fazio said around 4 a.m. Wednesday, a team rescued five people by boat from their RVs, and nobody was hurt.

That was about the time Holly Franklin and her family moved their camper to higher ground.

“We had to pull out of here because the water was coming in so fast,” she said. “So we woke up, hooked it up to the truck and pulled it out of there while the water was coming in.”

She said her family had to work quickly to escape the rising water.

“I couldn’t even get in the door, the water was coming in so fast,” she said.

Fazio said sheriff’s deputies went through the campground Tuesday to issue an evacuation order because these campsites have flooded before.

“This area does get flooding since it’s so close to the Yellow River,” Fazio told Channel 2 Action News. “That’s why this area – from my understanding from the RV park – is for RV vehicles, mobile vehicles, so they can move out of the floodplain.”

The American Red Cross arrived to assist evacuees with shelter and food.

Newton County officials said the Yellow River crested Tuesday afternoon and the floodwater slowly began to recede.

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