Flint River (Georgia)

river_name = Flint River

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caption = Map of the Apalachicola River system with the Flint River in dark blue and its watershed highlighted.
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length = 150 mi (240 km)
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:"For other rivers named Flint, see Flint River (disambiguation page)".The Flint River is an approximately convert|150|mi|km long river, in the U.S. state of Georgia. The river drains 8,460 sq mi (22,464 km²) of western Georgia, flowing south from the upper Piedmont region south of Atlanta to the wetlands of the coastal plain in the southwestern corner of the state. Along with the Apalachicola and the Chattahoochee, it forms part of the ACF basin. In its upper course through the red hills of the Piedmont it is considered especially scenic, flowing unimpeded for over convert|200|mi|km.


The Flint River rises in west central Georgia in southern Fulton County on the southern outskirts of the Atlanta metropolitan area as ground seepage. It then travels under the runways of the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. [ [http://www.georgiaencyclopedia.org/nge/Article.jsp?id=h-3266 Flint River] article at the [http://www.georgiaencyclopedia.org New Georgia Encyclopedia] ] Flowing generally south through rural western Georgia, the river passes through Sprewell Bluff State Park, approximately 10 mi (16 km) west of Thomaston. Further south, it comes within convert|5|mi|km of Andersonville, site of the Andersonville prison during the American Civil War. In southwestern Georgia it moves through downtown Albany, the largest city on the river. At Bainbridge it joins Lake Seminole, formed at its confluence with the Chattahoochee River above the Jim Woodruff Dam on the Florida state line. The Apalachicola River then flows south from the reservoir to the Gulf of Mexico.

It is joined by the Kinchafoonee Creek just north of Albany, and by Ichawaynochaway Creek in southwestern Mitchell County, approximately convert|15|mi|km northeast of Bainbridge.

In addition to Lake Seminole, the Flint is impounded approximately convert|15|mi|km upstream from Albany to form Lake Blackshear reservoir. The river was historically navigable to Bainbridge before the construction of the Jim Woodruff Dam. The unimpeded nature of the river above Lake Blackshear is rare among U.S. rivers. It is one of only 40 rivers in the nation to flow over convert|200|mi|km unimpeded. In the 1970s, a plan by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to build a dam at Spreewell Bluff in Upson County, Georgia was defeated by Governor Jimmy Carter, whose hometown of Plains is located near the Flint River.

In Luke Bryan's 2007 song "We Rode in Trucks", he mentions the Flint River: "Down where I was born was heaven on earth, the Flint River washes that red Georgia dirt."

Natural history

The river is considered to have three distinct sections as it flows southward through western Georgia. In its upper reaches in the red hills of the Piedmont, it flows through a deeply incised channel etched into crystalline rocks. South of its fall line near Culloden, the channel transforms to a broad, forested swampy flood plain. South of Lake Blackshear, it transforms again, flowing through a channel in limestone rock above the Upper Floridan Aquifer below southwestern Georgia and northwestern Florida.

The river has been prone to floods throughout its history. In 1994, during flooding from Tropical Storm Alberto, the river crested at convert|43|ft|m in Albany, resulting in the emergency evacuation of over 23,000 residents, and creating one of the worst natural disasters in the state's history. Interstate 75 was closed in Macon, and Albany State University was also seriously flooded, as the river became a few miles or several kilometers wide in some places. The water lifted caskets from cemeteries and left them along with drowned cattle and other livestock stuck in trees and other places. Other significant floods occurred in 1841 and 1925.

In January 2002, a winter storm blew through Atlanta the day after New Year's Day, and deicing fluid leaked into the river when the airport's drainage system overflowed. Nobody became seriously ill from the antifreeze, which made it into drinking water for some, but the airport changed the system to avoid the problem in the future. This has not been tested yet, however, since even as of 2007, this was the last major snow event the city had seen due to several warm or dry winters.

ee also

*List of Georgia rivers


External links

* [http://www.gwf.org/flintindex.htm Georgia Wildlife Federation: Flint River]
* [http://www.sherpaguides.com/georgia/flint_river/index.html Sherpa Guides: Flint River Basin]
* [http://www.sherpaguides.com/georgia/flint_river/essay/index.html Jimmy Carter: Land Between the Rivers]

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