Tag Archives: flooding

Videos: Rezoning, two grants, fire, water, diversity and transparency @ VCC 2013-03-07

Still more about the recent flooding and water issues in these videos of the 7 March 2013 Valdosta City Council Regular Session, by City Manager Larry Hanson, Council Robert Yost excoriated the VDT, former City Engineer Von Shipman defended the city. Multiple citizens brought up issues of diversity and local government transparency.

Here’s the agenda, with links to the videos and a few notes.

5:30 PM Thursday, March 7, 2013
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Water Plant Planning —Henry Hicks @ VCC 2013-03-07

Henry Hicks Valdosta Utilities Director Henry Hicks gave a detailed history of flood control projects and work on the Withlacoochee Waste Water Processing Plant at the Valdosta City Council Meeting last night during the "Manager's Report" section of the agenda. Several Council members expressed their distaste for the VDT’s recent reporting on the subject, and thanked Hicks and other city employees for their work.

$40 million already spent Hicks said they had spent $4 million on repairs to the Withlacoochee plant, and that didn't include the $40 million they'd already spent on upgrades in general. Also, it took three days to build the berm around the plant in 2009, and FEMA wouldn't approve any improvements to it.

He said he would Continue reading

Rezoning, two grants, fire, and water @ VCC 2013-03-07

There’s nothing on the agenda for last night’s Valdosta City Council meeting about the recent flooding or the Withlacoochee Wastewater Treatment Plant or the raw sewage in neighborhoods or downstream all the way to the Gulf, but quite a bit was said last night anyway; video to follow. Here’s the agenda. -jsq

5:30 PM Thursday, March 7, 2013
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Withlacoochee and Little Rivers peaking, 2012-08-14

We've seen the Lowndes County PR about Withlacoochee River flooding. Ashley Tye has posted on the Emergency Management page a list of links to river gauges in Lowndes County. Here are current images from each of them, going from upstream to downstream, left to right:

Little River near Hahira (SR 122)
Little River near Hahira (SR 122)
Withlacoochee River above Valdosta (Skipper Bridge Road)
Withlacoochee River (Skipper Bridge Road)

Withlacoochee River near Foxborough (US 41)
Withlacoochee River near Foxborough (US 41)

Withlacoochee River near Quitman (US 84)
Withlacoochee River near Quitman (US 84)

You can easily see the rivers have peaked upstream at Hahira and Skipper Bridge, may be peaking at Foxborough, but the Withlacoochee is still rising downstream at Quitman.


Flooding on the Withlacoochee?

Many of the same factors that cause the prolonged extreme drought we’ve been having (deforestation, impervious surfaces, climate change) also produce flooding when we get a little rain. The flooding map by NWS Advanced Hydrologic Prediction Service, Weather Forecast Office Tallahassee, FL, 2012-08-14 shows minor flooding on the Withlacoochee River at Skipper Bridge Road.

WTXL yesterday posted PR from Lowndes County, Georgia, Withlacoochee River under watch due to rising water, flood warnings,

LOWNDES COUNTY, Ga.—Due to rising waters and the issuance of a Flood Warning by the National Weather Service, Lowndes County Emergency Management continues to monitor rising water levels on the Withlacoochee River at the Skipper Bridge Road stream gauge site.

Currently, the water level stands at approximately 14.3 feet and is expected to crest this afternoon at approximately 14.5 feet.

While a flood warning is in effect, the only area flooded at these Minor Flooding of Withlacoochee River at Skipper Bridge Road, Lowndes County, Georgia levels are woodland areas near the river. Historically, flooding does not affect local roads and/or residences until water levels reach approximately 17 feet.

Lowndes County Emergency Management will continue to monitor conditions and additional updates will be distributed as new information becomes available. While there is no cause for immediate concern, citizens are encouraged to remain aware of their surroundings.

Residents may monitor local river levels by accessing real time stream gauge information by visiting the following link: water.weather.gov/ahps2/index.php?wfo=tae.

For more information, please contact Lowndes County Public Information Officer, Paige Dukes, 229-292-6142 or pdukes@lowndescounty.com.

Curiously, on the County’s own Press Releases web page, there’s no mention of this PR.



Who’s gonna want to watch MTV Spring Break from Valdosta, Georgia?

Local cities don't often get mentioned on national TV, but Valdosta did, on Monday's The Word – Sink or Swim on the Colbert Report:

The Colbert Report Mon – Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
The Word – Sink or Swim
Colbert Report Full Episodes Political Humor & Satire Blog Video Archive


Conservation records @ LCC 2012-03-13

Update 21 May 2012: Fixed meeting date. See also Planning Commission discussion of this item.

An issue of conservation records came up at the 28 February 2012 13 March 2012 Lowndes County Commission meeting, regarding a rezoning at Lake Alapaha, in far northeast Lowndes County, near the Alapaha River.

County Planner Jason Davenport described the problem, which came up in a request to rezone a piece of property that was partly zoned RA (Residential Agriculture) and partly Conservation:

We did get help from the clerk’s office to try to clear up when this property was zoned and why it was zoned conservation. I just don’t have anything [unintelligible]. We have minutes that say one thing and a zoning map that says another.

He said they had had limited time to investigate, and had not been able to resolve this issue.

That issue is still on the table. I would just remind you that in the grand scheme it is a minor issue.

Commissioner Richard Raines made the motion:

For my part I’m for rezoning the entire property RA and eliminating the conservation.

And that’s what they did. Which raises issues of what we should do.

Here’s a playlist:

Conservation records
Regular Session, Lowndes County Commission (LCC),
Valdosta, Lowndes County, Georgia, 28 February 2012 13 March 2012.
Videos by Gretchen Quarterman for Lowndes Area Knowledge Exchange (LAKE).

The issue here is at least fourfold:

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McDonalds Denied Sign Variance for Foxborough Store

Update: Videos are here.

Fast-food giant McDonalds applied for a sign variance so they could have signs the same size as everywhere else, so they wouldn’t have to do a custom job. The Technical Review Committee (TRC) recommended against. Attorney Gary Moser summed up the opinions of 200 Foxborough residents who don’t want the added light from the sign and headlights. He also mentioned Vince Schneider is being deployed to Afghanistan and doesn’t want the added lights when he gets back in six months.

Surprise speaker Gary Minchew, a well-known local developer, spoke against the variance, citing the arrogant behavior of McDonalds, which he said insisted on keeping a variance through his property he had granted First State Bank, even though he had not intended it to be used by a fast-food buyer of the bank property.

The Valdosta-Lowndes County Zoning Board of Appeals voted unanimously to deny the variance. Pictures and videos to follow.


Corporate McDonalds Please Don’t Build A Store In My Front Yard While I’m Deployed To Afghanistan

Here’s a letter Vince Schneider sent on Thursday 9 September to Vivian Valdivia, Development Director, Atlanta Region, McDonalds, copied to Kay Harris of the VDT, Fox News, MSNBC on the Internet, and NBC News:
Vivian Valdivia, et al.

Corporate McDonalds=2C please don’t build a store in my front yard while I’m deployed to Afghanistan. And please continue this policy after my return. Since 30 June 2010 when I first learned of Corporate McDonalds’ plan to build a store in my front yard this Fall=2C I believe I’ve done everything that I could to stop it. My local and state governments refuse to help by simply saying that there is nothing they can do. I guess I shouldn’t have expected anything else from an elected official. This is my last appeal to Corporate McDonalds to not build a store in my front yard this Fall.

I am deploying next Friday to Afghanistan to help secure the rights and liberties of the Afghan peoples. Because of this 6 month deployment I will not be able to prosecute any more actions in the attempt to dissuade Corporate McDonalds from building a store in my front yard. Now, because of Corporate McDonalds’ greed, it’s only a wish that I could enjoy some of the same rights and liberties that I am helping to secure for the Afghanis, at my home upon my return. Rights and liberties that Corporate McDonalds is effectively taking from me to name a few include the right to peace, prosperity, and the pursuit of happiness.

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Impervious cover increase, Lowndes County

Sixty eight percent (68%) from 1991 to 2005, 22% of that from 2001 to 2005. Tree canopy change from 1991 to 2005: minus fourteen percent (-14%), almost all of it between 2001 and 2005.

Where’s all this change coming from and going to?

Source: NARSAL, UGA’s Natural Resources Spatial Analysis Lab

The dark green is labeled “Evergreen Forest” and decreased from 31.81% in 1991 to 26.47% in 2005. Meanwhile, the light pink labeled “Low Intensity Urban” went from 5.37% to 8.57%. Other changes include the red “High Intensity Urban” slice going from 1.15% to 1.98%. But the biggest change is piney woods being paved over for urban sprawl.

Could this have some effect on flooding?

John S. Quarterman