Selma and Dallas County is expected to get a high amount of rain Thursday resulting in increased water levels. Although no major flooding is expected, meteorologists are advising residents to practice precaution. -- Ashley Johnson

Heavy rains bring increased water levels, possible flooding

Published 7:38pm Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Selma and Dallas County residents can expect water levels on the Cahaba River and surrounding bodies of water to peak midday Thursday producing potential for flood-like conditions. In areas north of Selma, like Clanton and Gadsden, meteorologists are predicting the possibility of snow.

“We expect a rain-snow mix and we really expect that to happen probably north of Clanton,” said Holly Britton, meteorologist for the National Weather Service in Birmingham. “I don’t expect Selma to get any wintery precipitation.”

Britton said a strong upper-level disturbance will come through the state Thursday bringing with it a cold air loft allowing precipitation to mix and change into snow in some areas.

“Northern areas of the state may get some snow and really we’re not expecting any significant accumulations at this point,” Britton said, adding that most snow will accumulate in localized, grassy areas. Northeast areas like Blount County are more likely to see snow Thursday.

“Temperatures during the day in the southern part of our area; Selma, Montgomery, Demopolis, it’s going to be about 40 to 50 degrees and probably just rain most of the day,” Britton said.

Areas that are at high risk for flooding are low-lying pasturelands.

“[The water level] should crest at 23.3 feet Thursday midday,” Britton said. “That should not cause any additional issues, just some flooding of pastureland and cattle land.”

Rhonda Abbott, EMA director for Selma and Dallas County, said although no major flooding is expected, water levels will reach action stage, which gives potential for flooding.

“The action stage is 15 feet,” Abbott said. “This means that people who have equipment or animals on pasture lands in low-lying areas should be aware and take precaution.”

According to the National Weather Service in Birmingham, water levels are predicted to peak at 11 a.m. Thursday.

“We wont really see any major flooding with the Alabama River until you get to about 48 and 52 feet,” Abbott said. “That’s when you start seeing major flooding.”

However, residents should still practice precaution and mind the weather, she said.

“Whenever you’ve got water predicted to increase like this, we advise people to be safe,” Abbott said. “Right now our main concerns are pasture lands and cattle in low-lying area.”

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