The Independence Day Flood of 1994, and Effects on Water Levels in the Upper Floridan Aquifer, Albany Area, Georgia
Remnants of Tropical Storm Alberto moved from the Gulf of Mexico into southwestern Georgia on Independence Day weekend, 1994. Rainfall was scattered over the western half of Georgia, eastern Alabama, and the Florida panhandle. The heaviest rainfall occurred in the Flint River watershed, where Americus, Ga., received about 28 in. from July 3-7, with about 21 in. falling in a 24-hour period on July 5-6. Torrential rainfall resulted in record flooding during the period July 4-19. At Albany, the Flint River crested at a stage of 43 ft, which was 23 ft above flood stage, and more than 5 ft higher than the previously known record stage of 37.8 ft, which occurred in January 1925. Heavy rainfall and extensive flooding caused water levels in the Upper Floridan aquifer to rise to historic record high levels in much of the study area near the Flint River. Water levels in the aquifer responded to flooding conditions at magnitudes and rates controlled by the hydraulic conductivity and pre-flood potentiometric surface of the aquifer, and the distance from the flooded area. Where the hydraulic conductivity of the aquifer is relatively low, the response to rising floodwaters was slow and the recovery period was delayed after the river receded. However, where the hydraulic conductivity of the aquifer is high, response was rapid both to rising floodwaters and to recession of the river.