By David E. StooksburyUniversity of GeorgiaThe wet summer that Georgia has experienced is increasing the risk of flooding across the state. As the state enters the middle of summer, soil moisture and stream flows are well above normal for this time of the year.Ponds and reservoir levels are at full summer pool or above. Stay backBecause of the high soil moisture conditions and stream flows across the state, there is little, to no, storage for excessive rain. If the state has another widespread heavy rain event in the next week, the flooding potential will be well above normal. Because of the increased threat of flooding over the next week, Georgians need to monitor the development of hurricane Dennis as he moves into the Gulf of Mexico. As of Thursday, July 7, it’s too early to know what, if any, impact Dennis will have on the state.Be safeMost deaths associated with tropical storms and hurricanes occur well inland away from the coast. Most deaths are preventable. Deaths from tropical storms and hurricanes are caused primarily by drowning. In most instances, the drowning happened when a driver tried to drive through a flooded roadway. Water depth on a flooded road is difficult to gage. Because the water is muddy, washed out roads and bridges can be hidden. The choice, if you cannot see the roadway, is TADD — turn around, don’t drown.Another major cause of drowning deaths in floods occurs when individuals get too close to the moving water. When the ground is wet it’s easy to slip and fall into a swollen stream. Also, the banks are often weakened by the excessive water and can’t support extra weight near the bank.Listen upThe best way to keep updated about weather conditions and weather warnings is a NOAA weather radio. NOAA weather radios are available at most stores that sell electronics. Additional information on preparing for a flood and recovery can be found at http://interests.caes.uga.edu/disaster/preparation/articles.htm and < ahref="http://interests.caes.uga.edu/disaster/recovery/articles.htm">http://interests.caes.uga.edu/disaster/recovery/articles.htmRecent rainfall information is available from the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences’ Georgia Automated Environmental Monitoring Network www.georgiaweather.net.
Batesville, In. — Batesville area businesses and residents are invited to participate in the “Twas the Lights Before Christmas’ presented by the chamber of commerce.The Batesville Area Chamber of Commerce, Duke Energy and Country 103.9 WRBI are hosting the contest and encouraging bright, festive Christmas displays this year. The contest is free and open to all.Contestants are asked to take a photo of a, or your display and submit it here by December 9. Votes can be cast on the website until Sunday, December 16 in two categories, “Residential” and “Business.”The top three winners in each category will be announced on Monday, December 17. First place will receive $100 in Batesville Chamber Checks, second place wins $50 in Batesville Chamber Checks and third place gets $25 in Batesville Chamber Checks.