The Macon Water Authority

790 Second Street • Macon, GA 31202-0108 • (478) 464-5600

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Ocmulgee Alive! rescheduled for Oct. 15

Oct 6, 2016 by Chris Wood, Ph.D.

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The 12th annual Ocmulgee Alive! has been rescheduled for Saturday Oct. 15, due to potentially dangerous conditions as a result of Hurricane Matthew.

As a result of potentially dangerous weather conditions expected in Macon-Bibb County early Saturday morning, due to Hurricane Matthew reaching Georgia around that time, organizers from the Macon Water Authority (MWA) have postponed the 12th Annual Ocmulgee Alive! and re-schedule it for the rain date of next Saturday Oct. 15.

The times and locations of Ocmulgee Alive! will remain the same during the make-up date of Oct. 15. The river cleanup will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., but volunteers who do not have a pre-assigned place to clean should meet at Amerson River Park at 8:15 a.m.

Organizers of the 12th annual Ocmulgee Alive! have been watching the weather radar intently over the last several days, tracking the path of Hurricane Matthew to see its potential impact on Macon-Bibb County. Hurricane Matthew reached the Florida coast early Friday morning and is expected to reach the Georgia coast by early Saturday morning, prior to the time of Ocmulgee Alive!

While the direct path of the Hurricane is not expected to reach Macon, meteorologists note that potentially dangerous weather, particularly severe winds and rain, are expected well outside of the cone within the Hurricane’s path.

“Our number one priority is that our volunteers are safe, and with severe winds expected there is the potential for dangerous conditions during the cleanup,” says Mark Wyzalek, MWA Director of Laboratory/Environmental Compliance who organizes Ocmulgee Alive! on behalf of the MWA and its partners. “We’ll be fine moving our river cleanup to next Saturday, but our major concern is for those who are directly impacted by the Hurricane.”

Officials throughout the MWA have been on alert in anticipation of the impact of Hurricane Matthew in Middle Georgia and other regions of the state. On Thursday afternoon during the Authority’s October 6th Board Meeting, MWA Executive Director and President Tony Rojas updated MWA Board Members on preparations the Authority staff had been making in response to the potential for severe weather.

Rojas says the MWA has staff available and on call 24 hours per day, including weekends, while MWA generators at the treatment plants are gassed and operational in the event of power outages. The MWA also is prepared to assist fellow Georgia utilities and communities in need during an emergency, as a result of its membership and participation in GAWARN – the Georgia Water/Wastewater Agency Response Network.

Following the impact of Hurricane Katrina in 2005, industry leaders from around the state formed this organization designed to enhance emergency response capabilities of utilities across Georgia. GAWARN provides the avenue for utilities to help other utilities by providing an assistance agreement and pre-determined processes and protocol for sharing resources and personnel during emergency responses.

For more info:
Mark Wyzalek, MWA Director of Laboratory/Environmental Compliance
478-464-5678 (office) or 478-256-9384 (cell)
mwyzalek@maconwater.org (email)

Media contact:
Chris Wood, Ph.D.
770-757-1681 (phone)
jcwood@uga.edu OR chris@jwapr.com (email)

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