The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

July 6, 2013

Heavy rains take toll on county roads

By Kim West
kwest@athensnews-courier.com

— Heavy rains were responsible for washing out a portion of Cowford Road north of Nuclear Plant Road Saturday.

District 3 County Commissioner Bill Latimer said the road would be closed about a week while crews make repairs. He said residents who use the road could use Shaw or Lucas Ferry roads as a detour.

Limestone County was awash with reports of flooding Thursday and Friday after some areas recorded rainfall of 8 inches or more, according to city and county reports and the National Weather Service in Huntsville.

The Sheriff’s Office reported at least 19 flooded locations Thursday throughout the county, including five locations along or near Mooresville Road. The only report from the county before Saturday morning was in the area near eastern Mooresville Road and Old Alabama 20.

The Capshaw, East Limestone and Harvest communities were also drenched Thursday as Capshaw recorded as much as 8.21 inches of rainfall and Harvest received 9.05 inches.

The National Weather Service recorded 15 closed roads countywide between 7 a.m. Thursday and 7 a.m. Friday. The closures resulted from water from 12 to 18 inches deep in the eastern and southeastern portions of Limestone from Mooresville Road to northeast of Huntsville-Browns Ferry Road.

During the same time frame, the Canebrake community in southeastern Athens recorded 5.5 inches of rain, and three other areas within the city also received at least 3.48 inches, according to the NWS.

Athens Police Chief Floyd Johnson said there were “no major backups” because of Thursday’s torrential downfall.

“We had a handful of flooded streets,” Johnson said. “Only one, Levert Avenue, behind the shopping center, had to be closed. We closed it until the water went down and then reopened it.”

Limestone was under a flash flood warning until 5 p.m. Friday and a flood watch until 7 p.m. Saturday.

Clear and sunny weather is not expected within the next few days as the area forecast predicts a 50-percent chance of showers Sunday, a 20- to 30-percent likelihood Monday and Tuesday and a 40-percent outlook for Wednesday and Thursday.

— Staff writer Karen Middleton contributed to this report.