THOMASVILLE — A 40-year-old Thomasville woman is believed to have drowned when she fell into a ditch in the 100 block of Green Street during a heavy downpour early Sunday.
"Right now, it looks like an accidental drowning," said Maj. Wade Glover, Thomasville Police Department public information officer.
The body of Tatrika Dekae Roberts, 1111 Young St., was discovered by a passerby, who notified a police officer in the area.
The body, discovered about 12:10 a.m. Sunday, had no visible signs of trauma, Glover said. It appears, he said, the woman slipped and fell into the ditch — three to four feet deep — and was carried to the culvert, where she was overcome by the rapidly-moving water.
An autopsy will be performed at a state crime lab. A preliminary autopsy report is expected in a few days.
Several downpours prior to the discovery of the body added to the situation, Glover said.
Mayor pro tem Terry Scott drove around the city during heavy rain Saturday night to monitor street drainage.
Fletcher Street was flooded, he said, but the water eventually ran off. Kern Street residents were stranded when their yard flooded.
"Water receded that day," Scott said.
Sidewalks with curb and gutter would rid the city of deep ditches like the one where the woman's body was found, Scott said.
Hopkins Street and the Carrol Hill area also were flooded, Scott said.
He pointed out that work funded by a Community Development Block Grant in the Fletcherville area is underway. The project, to be completed in mid-2019, includes sidewalks with curb and gutter and street resurfacing.
"We've got a problem on South Martin Luther King," Scott said. "If sidewalks and curb and gutter are not put in where they are needed, we will wind up with other fatalities."
Senior reporter Patti Dozier can be reached at (229) 226-2400, ext. 1820