Recovery from flooding in Summerville begins, and things are looking up
Many residents who lost power have it returned; Mayor: The city's water supply is expected to return within a week
SUMMERVILLE, GA (WDEF) – The flooding in Chattooga County is called a “once in 200 years” kind of event, and the scenes from Sunday are overwhelming.
You could see it in Trion.
Lyerly saw flooding that had people getting out by boat.
Parts of Summerville saw flooding that was waist-high in some parts.
Just 24 hours later on Labor Day in Summerville looked normal, but also abnormal.
People lined up at City Hall to get something most of us take for granted: water to drink or bathe in.
Kenneth Starling, a resident of Summerville, described it this way: “This has been crazy. You can’t wash clothes. Can’t use the toilet. Trying to take a bath. The normal things that you would normally do for everyday life, you can’t do it because you have no water. Some places, they have no power. So, it’s pretty strange.”
Summerville Mayor Harry Harvey added, “It was just a perfect combination of things, I think, this year. The ground was saturated. It has been raining some, off and on, for the last week. We’ve also had the rain coming in at such a fast pace that it did not have time to drain, and that was what created a lot of the problem.”
That problem forced the city to shut off the water supply, and Mayor Harvey says a boil advisory is in place.
“One of our biggest problems right now, of course, is water and our water treatment plant. We had (the flooding) over some the machines, some of the things at our water treatment plant, and we’ve never had that before.”
What is left behind from the flood doesn’t adequately describe the horrors many residents had at their houses. It also doesn’t show that it could have been a lot worse.
Thomas Helton, another Summerville resident, says, “We were blessed not to lose our electricity. Because if we’d have lost that, plus the water, we’d be back in the Pioneer Days.”
Resident Marvin Timmons is thankful that any damage in Summerville is mostly cosmetic. “It’s a miracle. It’s a blessing. I mean, God’s really looking out for us. I mean … nobody got hurt. Nobody got seriously injured. Just … it’s a miracle. Just a miracle.”
Most residents in Summerville are still in recovery mode, but there is light at the end of the tunnel.
Mayor Harvey tells me that residents are quickly getting their power back, and he expects the water line to be turned on within a week.