Flooding on Mineral Springs Road in Jasper resulted from the second torrential rain in August. Having two flash floods within a week of each other after no prior history of floods in Pickens County is truly surprising, said a research meteorologist.
A research meteorologist who grew up here offered some insight into the unprecedented pair of flooding rainfalls in the past two weeks in eastern Pickens County.
Dr. Dan Lindsey, who holds a PhD in atmospheric science and who works with satellite information for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in Colorado, said the two events on August 1 and August 7 are definitely as unusual as people here think they are.
See this week's print or online editions for comments from Dr. Dan Lindsey.
This is a photo of the article that ran in the 1938 edition of the Pickens County Progress following the Whitestone flood.
Danny Attaway is a resident of Pickens County. The recent flooding inspired him to write about the deadly April 7, 1937 flood in Whitestone, Ga. There were 13 people killed in Whitestone when a general store was washed off its foundation. Two children from the Fonder family were staying with the Conner family at the store, which was also their home. It was the first night the Fonder children had spent the night away from home.
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Members of the Woodstock First Baptist’s Jasper campus pumped and paid for part of the gas purchased Saturday at a Jasper convenience store to show they are grateful to be in this community.
Saturday, members of the Woodstock First Baptist Church’s Jasper campus held “Fillin’ up Jasper” at the BP station next to Waffle House on Highway 53.
For two hours, the church paid for $1 of every gallon of gas any motorist purchased, for 10 gallons max.
Campus pastor Eddie Rhodes said, “We are doing this to show that we really care about the community, and we are grateful to be here.”
Church volunteers pumped the gas for drivers so they could stay in their cool cars. Church member Carly Osborne said, “We want to show our love for the community, especially in these hard times.”
While pumping gas, church volunteers handed out Waffle House coupons, Bibles and information on the church.
“I love my church and I love Jesus,” said volunteer Sarah Dickerson. The church is located at 5335 Hwy 53 West in Jasper. Church worship is on Sundays at 11a.m. To contact the Woodstock First Baptist Church in Jasper call 770-591-2640 or go to their website, www.woodstockchurch.tv.
Tate Elementary still below desired student numbers
Pickens schools saw 4,311 students enrolled the second day of classes, a total student population down 50 from last year at the same point. First day numbers had been lower but some of that could be attributed to the rains and flooding.
The school board also discussed facility plans, recognized students and heard about efforts to shift enrollment to Tate during their August meeting.
As of last Friday, Georgia’s Insurance Commissioner, Ralph Hudgens, had not received a reply from Kathleen Sebelius, secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).
Hudgens had penned a very public letter to the Secretary, requesting a 30-day extension for Georgia’s approval of seven company insurers competing to provide health insurance coverage within the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) healthcare exchange program. The letter made reference to “massive rate increases” and requested that Department “show cause” as to why the increases were not justified in light of the ACA. See original Statement from Commissioner Hudgens.
Hudgens’ letter was dated July 29 (one day before the Commissioner’s deadline to submit his findings to HHS). He requested that a response be delivered on July 30.
According to the letter, of the seven actuaries hired to evaluate the participant insurers’ submissions, six had deemed the submissions as “justifiable” within the ACA. One actuary reported that one of the submissions was 11 percent above the justifiable range.
The commissioner cited one instance in which a non-smoking male, aged 24 years, would likely experience an increase in his insurance premium from between 85-198 percent.
Bill Custer, director of The Center for Health Services Research within Georgia State University, believes this estimate is in anomaly. Custer notes that some premiums will rise for certain individuals (most notably for males and young people) in order to spread risk amongst patient population segments.
“The law requires that insurance companies bring in sick people, and bringing in sick people increases risk and costs. However, I don’t expect an increase of more than 20 percent in any one class of insured people [in the exchange].”
Custer notes that provisions within the law limit large rate disparities between customer classes. A 3:1 ratio cannot be exceeded (meaning a rate for one class cannot exceed three times the cost of any other rate class).