By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
Monday brought more rain to the State of Alabama and more locally heavy flash flooding.
Alabama Governor Robert Bentley (R) said on Monday afternoon that 32 counties still had roads closed.
The Governor said that in, “Situations like these we, as elected officials, have to work together to provide for the needs of our residents who have lost so much.”
State Senator Paul Bussman (R-Cullman) said on Monday, “I have just finished 2 meetings regarding the flooding and tornado issues, one with State EMA director Art Faulkner and a conference call with Gov. Bentley. Fortunately, from the many natural disasters over the last few years, the system has ramped up very quickly. Life safety issues have had the most attention over the last few days. That portion is ramping down. Now, as the water recedes, property damage is being evaluated. This includes roads washed out, bridges damaged or destroyed and infrastructure damage to water systems, etc. Your local officials, mayors, county commissioners are working extremely hard to assess the damage and in many cases temporarily fixing the damage. Property owners need to document damage to homes, etc with pictures and then report that damage to the Red Cross or the local EMA so an assessment can be made of that damage. All of the damage estimates will be combined to determine what sources of aid are available. We will continue to stay on top of the problem and I want to thank all of those who have helped thus far. Again, we have seen neighbors helping neighbors. It is an honor to represent you.”
According to a report from the state Emergency Management Agency (EMA), the Wetumpka Water Works and Sewer Board is reporting that its sewer system overwhelmed by infiltration from excessive storm water runoff. The Cowikee Water Authority in Barbour County has a major waterline crossing Cowikee Creek that was blown out. Efforts to get water to residents from Eufaula were unsuccessful. The system is looking at possibly restoring water using flex pipe as a temporary measure. Many residents in Elba are having to boil their drinking water due to contamination. On Monday the state was reporting that 117 homes, businesses, and other structures were submerged in the Elba area.
The EMA reported that the Black Warrior River is rising in Tuscaloosa County and may potentially threaten some residences in Fosters. Two mobile home parks in Autauga County experienced flooding. In Elmore County 15 homes off of River Forest Court are accessible only by boat due to flooding from the Alabama River. Macon County is reporting that 7 to 8 bridges have been completely washed out. In Montgomery County, 345 prisoners had to be evacuated from the Red Eagle Honor work farm center when flood gates were opened at Jordan Dam. 7 horses were left stranded. 5 mobile homes are flooded off of Coosada Ferry Road and 10 homes in Tin Top Subdivision have been cut off by rising waters. Lawrence County was still doing shallow water rescues.
In Cullman County six homes are reported destroyed and six had major damage. Several roads have been damaged. Jackson and Limestone Counties are reporting several roads being washed out. In Jefferson County the tornado that touched down severely damaged two square miles of residential area. In Shelby County some people in the Kingdom area are still stranded in their homes. Some roads are still underwater in St. Clair County.
The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) is asking boaters to please stay off of the Tennessee River due to the speed that the water is moving. TVA said in a statement, “All nine Tennessee River dams are releasing excess water using both generating turbines and spillway gates. High rainfall totals over most of the Valley has resulted in areas along the river at or above flood stage.”
Gov. Bentley said, “It’s important that we discuss the issues we’ve had and how we can work to help Alabamians recover from these severe weather events.”
Some counties may be declared natural disaster areas when more damage assessments are finished.