RELEASE: Flooding Survey Released

Contact: Meaghan Walsh Gerard
Communications and Administrative Director

Organizations are trying to collect data on changing water patterns 

Ogeechee Riverkeeper (ORK) has developed a survey tool for citizens to report flooding connected to increased development in coastal Georgia counties. The tool will help area organizations track changes in water incursion in the area. These changes include tidal flooding, overflowing canals, non-draining rainwater or stormwater, and more. The survey also includes prompts for site photos as well as a map to pinpoint the problem location. Citizens can report issues at public, private, residential, or commercial property. 

ORK and Savannah Riverkeeper (SRK) are leading the data collection of the survey. One Hundred Miles (OHM) is also interested in tracking patterns of flooding incidents. A shared concern of all the advocacy groups involved is the amount of concrete that accompanies such rapid development and the resultant flooding experienced by neighboring communities. 

Riverkeepers work to protect water quality at all stages of the water cycle. When water washes over roadways or parking lots, for example, it can compromise water quality. Salt water from higher tides can affect the ecology of freshwater habitats. Overflowing canals can carry water, nutrients, and contaminants from new areas. All of these scenarios are ones to monitor. 

This survey will use crowdsourced reports to monitor localized flooding after rain events. The goal is to document flood events to aid in public comments and improve developmental planning.

View the survey:

About Ogeechee Riverkeeper: Ogeechee Riverkeeper 501(c)(3) works to protect, preserve, and improve the water quality of the Ogeechee River basin, which includes all of the streams flowing out to Ossabaw Sound and St. Catherine’s Sound. The Canoochee River is about 108 miles long and the Ogeechee River itself is approximately 245 miles long. The Ogeechee River system drains more than 5,500 square miles across 21 counties in Georgia. More at

About Flood Pulses

Let’s talk about the floods we have been seeing throughout the Ogeechee River basin.

We have been experiencing some heavy rains this season and that has been causing the flood pulse to rise this year. But what is a flood pulse? The flood pulse is the annual rise and fall of the water levels. This is important for our river systems because it allows the floodplains to collect and channel water through and bring nutrients into the ecosystem. 

The winter and spring are the best seasons to notice the phenomenon of flood pulse occurring. In the winter, the rains can cause flooding because the trees have not started blooming and therefore do not have as much capacity for storing water. The flooding allows for saturation of the water in the floodplain and surrounding lands and that helps the plants receive a cue that spring is coming and soon it will be time to bloom and grow once again.

Why is this important to people, though?

Protecting the floodplain from development is an important factor in the health of waterways. Allowing natural flooding to occur is good for soil, wildlife, plants, and the river itself. Avoiding non-permeable surfaces and building in these areas also protects nearby homes and businesses from most flooding scenarios.

The flood pulse can cause hazardous conditions in the river. The river may appear somewhat calm, but the water may be moving at a much higher rate than usual and this can impose hazards for recreational usage. Please be careful when there are heavy rain events in the winter and spring months. 

There is publicly accessible data from the United States Geological Survey (USGS) that shows the average depth and the discharge rate in the river, which will help tell you how fast the river is moving. Make sure you are prepared before you head out on our beautiful waterways.

~ Molly McKeon, 2023 ORK Fellow