Rain means receding waters may rise

Published 12:00 am Thursday, April 7, 2005

The Alabama River receded a few inches earlier this week as predicted, but if the rain continues through the rest of the week, it may be a while before some Selma residents finally see dry land, according to the Dallas County EMA.

Brett Howard, director of the county Emergency Management Agency, said the swollen river began drifting back some on Tuesday, but depending on the weather could easily regain lost ground.

“We are watching the weather,” Howard said. “If we get two inches of rain or more by Thursday, the river could go back up. Then, it could take at least nine days for it to recede.”

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If the clouds are on our side and it doesn’t rain as much as expected, Howard said it could be seven days before Selma is dry again.

The National Weather Service is currently predicting scattered thunderstorms today with a 60 percent chance of rain.

There is a 30 percent chance Selma will see showers on Friday morning, according to the NWS.

The river reached a peak of nearly 50 feet this week, overtaking Bloch Park and parts of the Selma Country Club golf course.

By Tuesday morning, several patches of land became visible again as the river receded.

The Robert F. Henry Lock and Dam spillways were open to “fullflow” this week to handle a water flow of 185,000 CFS (cubic feet per second). The normal generating water flow is 28,000 CFS.

Crescent Hill Road became washed out completely, forcing residents to make a detour.

No injuries caused by the flood have been reported, but the EMA is still stressing that residents use caution around the flooded waters.

Residents should avoid being on the river until the flood has passed. Animals and property should be secured and properly taking care of.

Residents should also avoid driving through flooded roads.

For more information, contact the Dallas County EMA at 874-2515.