The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

Local News

July 5, 2013

Some roads closed, homes flooded in Alabama

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — Flood watches and warnings continued for much of Alabama, as heavy rain continued to fall on already saturated ground.

In northern Alabama, emergency managers reported flooding across parts of central Morgan and much of central and eastern Lawrence counties.

In Moulton, authorities said several roads were impassable and several houses had flooded near the city's downtown area.

Authorities said numerous roads were also impassable in and around Decatur and Hartselle.

Decatur police barricaded 18 intersections because of floodwaters Thursday, police said. Homeowner Lee Neese, 52, stood in water nearly to his knees motioning traffic to turn around and take a different route instead of driving down his flooded street on 10th Avenue Southeast.

The heaviest rain fell from central Lawrence County eastward to central Morgan County. In that area, rainfall totals of more than 6 to 7 inches were common, with isolated reports of 10 inches or more in a few spots.

In southern Alabama, the National Weather Service said early Friday morning that a flash flood watch is in effect for the southwest part of the state. Forecasters said periods of heavy rain may result in additional widespread rainfall of 3 to 6 inches, with higher amounts possible in areas across coastal Alabama.

In southeast Alabama, 7.4 inches of rain had already fallen in Daleville by 5:30 p.m. Thursday, with more rain in the forecast Friday, Dale County Emergency Management Agency Director Robert Marsh said. Ozark and Skipperville received more than six inches of rain, The Dothan Eagle reported.

At least three roads -- Armstrong, Old Mill roads and Geneva County Road 16 -- were closed in Geneva County in southeast Alabama, County Commission Engineer Justin Barfield said.

Despite the rain, some Alabama fireworks displays went off as scheduled Thursday night, including the 32nd annual Spirit of Freedom Festival in Florence.

"This is one that will go down in history, definitely, because we never had rain like this," Florence/Lauderdale Tourism Director Debbie Wilson told The TimesDaily.

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