Sally soaks the county
Published 6:25 pm Wednesday, September 16, 2020
At closing time Wednesday, the City of Brundidge had weathered rain-soppin’ Sally without any major problems.
However, Brundidge City Manager Willie Wright said, it wasn’t over yet. “We still have the night to go through. But our city workers are on-call and ready to respond to any emergency situation.”
Wright said there had been several power outages in town due to limbs and trees on power lines.
“The city has done a good bit of preventive maintenance in that area,” he said. “We have taken down a number of trees and cut limbs in an effort to prevent outages due to limbs and trees on the line,” Wright said. “We will continue to monitor the situation and be ready to respond throughout the night,”
Sally, which made landfall early Wednesday morning as a Category 2 hurricane near Gulf Shores, churned slowly across the Wiregrass area on Wednesday, bringing a deluge of rain and an abundance of caution.
“We’re expecting this to continue through the night,” Pike County EMA director Herb Reeves said about 6 p.m. Wednesday. “They’re saying we could probably expect another 4 to 6 inches of rain through tonight, so I’m guessing we’re going to have 10-plus inches today.
“That’s a lot of rain in one day.”
The rain prompted both severe storm warnings and flash flood warnings late Wednesday for the county. “As of (6 p.m.) all our roads are still open, but we’re monitoring some that have some areas of flooding,” Reeves said, including Park Street; roads in Prospect Ridge; and Elm Street near George Wallace. “We have a couple of county roads with some water building up on them.”
While no county roads had been closed, Reeves said the EMA office urged caution for anyone who had to travel on Wednesday evening.
City of Troy Utilities reported intermittent outages due to limbs and trees falling. Customers along U.S. 231 from Henderson Highway to the Pioneer Museum of Alabama, as well as the Murphree/Flavia/Hillcrest neighborhood, Shellhorn Road, Hunters Mountain and Lakewood/Lakeview lost power when a tree fell on lines.
“The trees aren’t falling because of wind, but because the ground is getting saturated,” Reeves said.
However, officials were optimistic the storm would not prove as disastrous as it had on the coastal areas, where more than 20 inches of rain were reported.
By 6 p.m., both Pike County Schools and Troy City Schools had announced they would resume classes on Thursday. Pike Liberal Arts School will remain closed on Thursday, resuming classes on Friday.
Throughout the community, businesses and offices closed early on Wednesday in anticipation of the slow-moving storm.
Tupper Lightfoot Memorial Library in Brundidge remained open throughout the day but with little traffic coming through the doors.
“The UPS and FEDX men came in, but no-one else,” said Theresa Trawick, library director. “This is to the kind of weather people don’t want to get out in to check out library materials.”
Trawick said the pandemic has slowed traffic at the library with only the interest in eBooks picking up.
“We’re here with a large number of services to provide and we invite everyone to visit the library and take advantage of the resources we have,” Trawick said. ‘However, today was not the day.”
Lawrence Bowden agreed.
“This is not the kind of weather you want to be out in,” I had get out to get a prescription filled and not a lot of people were out,” he said. “This is dangerous weather. But because it’s ‘just’ raining people don’t realize the dangers.”
Bowden retired from the Alabama Emergency Agency after 33 years and he has seen more threatening weather then most people will ever see.
“People don’t realize the dangers there are in rainstorms like this,” he said “Flooding is a major issue, Too many times, motorist will attempt to go through standing water and be washed away. Water on the highways can be ;deceiving. A slick place on the highway can cause motors to hydroplane. A lot of deaths and serious accidents occur during weather like we’re having. My advice is to stay safe at home with a good book to read.”
We will continue to update storm coverage at www.troymessenger.com, including with updates and closing reports for Thursday.