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River warnings still in effect from EMA
Ogeechee flooding 005
Levels in local rivers and creeks have been rising steadily through the week. - photo by Photo by Debbie Neidlinger

The flood warning continues for the Savannah River near Clyo and the Ogeechee River near Eden. The Savannah River was at 18.3 feet at 9 a.m. Friday. The flood stage is 11 feet. At 18 feet, several homes off Arrowhead Court near Stokes Bluff Landing are impacted. Moderate flooding is occurring. The river will continue to fall.

Flood stage for the Ogeechee River at Eden is 9 feet and the river was at 13.7 feet Friday at 9 a.m. Moderate flooding is occurring. At 13.5 feet, several homes and a picnic area along Yarbrough Landing Road begin to flood.

 See for Effingham EMA's photos.

The Effingham County Emergency Management Agency had a “busy night” Wednesday as another storm system rolled through the county, director Ed Myrick said.

Meanwhile, an advisory the EMA issued Wednesday for people to stay off all waterways in Effingham County, including the Savannah and Ogeechee rivers, remains in effect.

The Savannah River reached 18.3 feet Thursday, a level Myrick said had not been seen on the river since 1993. The waterway advisory was issued when the Savannah River’s discharge rate reached 53,800 cubic feet per second.

The resulting strong currents are a danger not only to swimmers and boaters, according to Myrick, but also to any emergency workers who would be needed if anyone disregards the advisory and needs to be rescued.

“We hope everyone heeds that,” he said. “A swimmer would never be able to keep up with the current, and a boater would have a hard time keeping up with the current as well.”

The storm Wednesday night downed a few trees, flooded some local roads and caused a minor fire.

Standing water caused the closing of Corinth Church Road, Edwards Loop, Pitts Road, Pryor Road and Springfield Road. As of press time, all but Edwards Loop had reopened.

A tree fell and blocked all lanes in the 600 block of Mill Pond Road around 8 p.m. Wednesday, but “that was cleared within the hour,” said Effingham County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Detective David Ehsanipoor.

Another tree was reported down on Highway 17 near mile marker 18 at approximately 7:40, when the storm was at its heaviest.

“Response vehicles had to respond at a crawl because of the rain and hail that was coming down,” Myrick said.

A lightning strike ignited a tree on Pitts Road and “burned it pretty much to the ground,” according to Myrick. The tree was only about 50 feet from a house, but firefighters extinguished the fire before it reached the home.

Despite the busy night, the calls for service were “nothing serious,” Ehsanipoor said.

“We got lucky again,” Myrick added.