Former Bibb EMA director recalls '94 flood | News
The Ocmulgee River looks calm right now, far different than it did during the 1994 flood. It happened just 14 months after Johnny Wingers became the Macon-Bibb Emergency Management Agency director.
Wingers said he knew the situation was serious when the water plant went under and around 150,000 people were without drinking water.
"FEMA was bringing bottled water in. We set up 26 distribution points around, all around Macon. And the firemen, all of them at the fire stations, people outside holding water out, people drive by and pick up a gallon of water," said Wingers.
He said military troops were called in to help and were purifying water. Maconites pitched in too. One woman told Wingers she couldn't read or write, but wanted to contribute.
"She says I've always used my hands. So I put her on the job helping, using her hands, but not out there on the water, and that lady, I can still see her right now today," said Wingers.
He recalls lots of debris, even a home, floating down the Ocmulgee.
He said two people got caught in the river and died. That was his biggest fear realized. Crews were trying to keep people out of the water.