By Nick Austin
Channel 3 Eyewitness News

FORT OGLETHORPE, GA (WRCB-TV)--The Chickamauga Creek swelled to more than two feet above its flood stage by Thursday afternoon.  It's west branch forced police and street department officials in Fort Oglethorpe, Georgia to close part of Mack Smith Road around seven o'clock that morning.  High water between North Avenue and Steele Road posed a danger for drivers, but that did not stop some of them from attempting to cross.

"We've got 'High Water' signs out there," said Fort Oglethorpe police chief David Eubanks. "We have 'Road Closed' signs on both sides of the water and a police car and people continue to drive through the water."  Eubanks said a few vehicles did get stuck.

Cautious motorist Robert Murphy had this to say about those taking the risk.  "I guess they're dumb," chuckled Murphy.

Besides placing you and your vehicle in harm's way, traversing a closed, flooded road in Fort Oglethorpe can hit you hard in your wallet, and not just from car repairs.  It will result in a ticket.

"If we have a sign up, that is a traffic control device," explained Chief Eubanks. "And if you disregard a traffic control device, that's a violation of the law."  Several citations were issued. The cost to you if you are found guilty in municipal court is $130.  Eubanks hopes the possibility of receiving a moving violation gets more people's attention.

As for Murphy, he says those who disobey the signs can take their own chances.  "I wouldn't try it," said Murphy. "They can if they want, I guess."