EMA: Savannah River is 'extremely hazardous' - WFXG FOX 54 - News Now

EMA: Savannah River is 'extremely hazardous'


Richmond County Emergency Management officials say the Savannah River is extremely dangerous after 13 days of heavy rain.

According to the Corps of Engineers, there's usually about 4,000 to 11,000 cubic feet of water flowing per second down the Savannah River.

Wayne Taylor, the Special Operations Chief for the Augusta Fire Department, says Friday the Savannah River was up to 37,000 cubic feet per second.

EMA officials say there could be up to nine times more water in the Savannah River than normal and its moving fast, so they say anyone who goes on the water is putting themselves in danger.

"I would call it an extreme hazard," said Taylor.

Taylor says the swollen river is also extremely difficult to access.

"Right now in Richmond County we have all of our boat ramps shut down," he said.

But some people are still boating on the river and Taylor says if anyone starts having trouble they are limited with what they can do to help.

"Dive rescue is to no effect right now and they cannot maintain their position with the current that's going by right now," Taylor, said.

He says the ramps they use to put their rescue boat in the water are closed. So he says if someone takes a chance on the river, there's a chance they won't be able to reach them if they need to.   

Fox54's Mark Barber asked, "So to sum it all up, you say a rescue would be very difficult right now and you're asking people to avoid the river?" Taylor said, "That's exactly right, just use all due caution and if there's no reason to be there, there's no reason to be there."

He says people should avoid going on the river for 30 days because that's how long it will take for the river to return to its normal size. 

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