A primary mission of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) is the measurement and documentation of the magnitude and extent of hydrologic hazards, such as floods, droughts, and hurricane storm surge. USGS personnel were deployed for historic widespread flooding that occurred throughout South Georgia from a storm event beginning in the late evening of March 27 and continuing through April 3, 2009. Data collected by USGS personnel and a network of automated real-time streamgages are critical to emergency management officials so that informed decisions can be made before, during, and after an event to assist in the protection of life and property.
According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), 46 counties in Georgia were declared disaster areas due to flooding. FEMA reported that 1,875 homes and 29 businesses were affected by floodwaters. No lives were lost in this flood. Approximately $60 million in public infrastructure damage occurred to roads, culverts, bridges and a water treatment facility (Joseph T. McKinney, Federal Emergency Management Agency, written commun., July 2009).