Ogeechee River overflows, closes J.F. Gregory Park trail

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RICHMOND HILL, Ga. (WSAV) – Unprecedented flooding is keeping a public trail closed Wednesday in Richmond Hil. Employees at J.F. Gregory Park say the banks of the Ogeechee River are so full, they emptied into the trail.

“It’s backed up to where we are and there’s no place for it to go,” said Jeremy Johnson, a park employee who showed News 3 some of the deepest waters on the trail.

Water is more than a foot deep in some parts, where park benches and bridges are nearly covered. Park employees say the problem started Tuesday afternoon.

Johnson says employees have been digging trenches to allow standing water to freely move. He says the plan has slightly helped. But now, the Richmond Hill Park and Tree Department can only wait until the rest of the water goes down.

“The water is [better] than yesterday (Tuesday) mid-afternoon. So it has gone down some, but if it starts raining hard again, it’s going to go right back to where it was,” said Johnson.

In the meantime, park officials are keeping the trail closed. Other parts of the park — including the playground and gazebo-area — are still open to the public.

City officials say they are “hopeful” the water will start receding in the next couple of days. Employees are required to inspect the trail for possible damage before it can open it again to the public.

“Don’t try and walk through there. The waters are moving in places and they are moving rather fast,” said Johnson. “They will take the feet out from under you. So don’t try it.”

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