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Thunderstorm caused flooding in Thomson

A severe thunderstorm caused flooding in some areas of Thomson, including one residential neighborhood and on several streets on Aug. 16.

At least two inches of rain reportedly fell in less than a half hour, according to a weather report broadcast over the airwaves of WTHO and WTWA radio stations in Thomson.

No one reportedly was injured as a result of the storm, which swept across much of McDuffie County shortly before 5 p.m., local authorities said.

One resident, Lonice Hobbs, who lives off Forrest Clary Drive, however, said she fled her single-wide mobile home because she was frightened of the high waters.

Most of the flooding Mrs. Hobbs experienced in the backyard of her home was as a result of water that flowed from a six-foot deep city ditch that borders her property.

"This is something that happens every time it rains a lot," said Mrs. Hobbs.

Flood waters came all the way up to her backyard deck. The waters also brought with it a variety of debris, such as trash and pieces of wood. The items were scattered in her back yard. Water also entered a utility building in her yard, causing some damages.

"I just don't understand why it floods so badly around here when it rains," said Mrs. Hobbs, who ended up spending last Monday night with one of her daughters.

"When the waters start getting higher than the ditch, I get scared. I know that's when it's time to leave."

Mrs. Hobbs is no stranger to flood waters in that neighborhood.

A resident of Thomson for more than 45 years, Mrs. Hobbs used to live in a little white house on Forrest Clary Drive where the yards flooded every time there was a big rain.

"There were times when we thought we'd have to get a boat just to get out of the house," recalled Mrs. Hobbs.

The same thing continues to happen after all these years at that same little house.

A couple now living there said flood waters - at least two-feet deep - surrounded their rented home.

That couple had two cars parked in their front yard and the water got so high that it went inside both of them.

Nearby ditches were filled with water -- some of it cresting and going into a nearby wooded area.

"I called Mayor (Kenneth) Usry, because I wanted him to see the mess it left in my yard," said Mrs. Hobbs.

She said he visited a day or so after and expressed concern.

"He was very nice and listened to what I had to say," said Mrs. Hobbs. "He said it was an act of God and that there was really nothing the city could do because the rain fell so quickly."

She asked him to have city crews clean out the ditches more often and to cover two holes near her driveway.

The latter has been done, but crews have not yet found the time to clean ditches in the area.

City workers have cleaned out ditches in that area many times through the years.

Earlier this year, they even expanded a large ditch along Forrest Clary Drive to try to free up backup water and prevent flooding in the area.

Mrs. Hobbs said the mayor told her that when it rains that hard, there's nothing the city can do about the problem, but sympathize for those it affects.

Web posted on Thursday, September 02, 2010

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