Pothole, Rome’s groundhog, has no plans whatsoever to come of out his log in the E.C.O. River Education Center today. Chances are, he’ll snooze right through the events featuring his famous kinfolk, Punxsutawney Phil in Punxsutawney, Pa., and General Beauregard Lee in Lilburn.
Pothole was rescued from Coosa River floodwaters late last month. Street department crews were behind the Second Avenue levee when Tim Shuler spotted the groundhog clinging to a branch swaying under the weight of the critter over the rapidly rising water.
Shuler called Ben Winkelman at the E.C.O. Center, who helped rescue the whistle pig — as they’re called in England.
“He was holding on for dear life,” Winkelman said.
The groundhog’s den along the Coosa near Heritage Park had apparently flooded out so, with water staying high, Winkelman took Pothole (named in honor of the street department workers who found him) back to the E.C.O. Center, where he has holed up inside an old rotted-out log.
Winkelman, a former Georgia Department of Natural Resources technician, said he plans to release the groundhog as soon as the vegetation starts to green up again.