Alabama River will crest Tuesday at minor flood stage

Published 10:49 am Saturday, December 26, 2015


The Alabama River at Selma is expected to crest Tuesday morning at 47.5 feet, which is 2.5 feet over flood stage.

Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley has declared a state of emergency amid widespread flash flooding that follows several days of intense weather throughout the state.

Bentley’s order allows state agencies to easily dispatch resources to help local agencies that cannot adequately respond to the situation.

“Many parts of Alabama have experienced excessive rainfall and flooding is a major concern,” Bentley said. “By issuing a state of emergency, I have directed all state agencies to take necessary actions to be prepared to respond to the anticipated flooding across Alabama. We will actively monitor the flooding and are prepared to respond to any requests for assistance.”

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As part of the order, state and local officials will assess damages as they consider seeking federal disaster aid.

The order also sets the stage to waive federal shift-limits on commercial drivers who are delivering essential goods to the affected area.

Rain continued Friday across much of central and north Alabama. The weather had calmed across much of south Alabama, with residents left to monitor water levels of rivers and streams as they swell with runoff.

“AEMA encourages residents to continue to monitor rains and be prepared to take action from fast rising water in flood prone areas. We will work with local officials to make sure the needs of our citizens are being met and assess the affected areas for damage,” Alabama EMA Director Art Faulkner said.

The Alabama River is expected to crest at minor flood stage Sunday at 46 feet. The river was at 36.3 feet Christmas afternoon.

From 30-to-45 feet, pastureland below Selma becomes flooded.

Many folks remember when the Alabama reached 57.45 feet on March 21, 1990. The river hit the same high-water mark on April 8, 1986.

According to the National Weather Service in Birmingham, the highest the Alabama has reached since records started being kept in 1890 is 58.35 feet on March 1, 1961. A sign at Bloch Park marks that historic flood.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.