Rain soaks county

Published 12:05 am Wednesday, December 30, 2015

EMA Director: Not out of woods yet

By Stephanie Nelson

Tuesday dawned with the clearest skies seen in Escambia County for more than a week; however, Escambia County EMA director David Adams said forecasted rainfall this week could again impact the area.

The county’s waterways – Burnt Corn and Murder creeks and the Conecuh River in Brewton, Big Escambia Creek in Flomaton and the Escambia River at Century, Fla. – remain under a flood warning until further notice. Over the last week, unseasonably warm temperatures were combined with copious amounts of rainfall. Weather sources reported nearly 10 inches of rainfall fell in the county in the last eight days.

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“I’m so happy to see the sun shine,” Adams said Tuesday morning as he checked Brewton’s creeks and gauges. “Right now, we’re looking at the forecast and planning.

“The creeks are still out of the banks some,” he said. “They’re down considerably from what we saw Saturday. They’re still high enough to have rain that normally wouldn’t be a problem if it fell to have a big impact.”

In Brewton, another two inches of rainfall is forecasted to fall between today and Friday, while in Atmore, 2.5 inches are predicted. Some 2.2 inches is predicted for the Flomaton area, while just under two inches is forecasted for neighboring Covington County.

“Obviously, creeks will continue to rise in conjunction with rainfall,” Adams said. “With the projected crests of (Escambia’s) waterways, all were placing at levels before where would have seen impact to businesses and motorists.

“Anytime it gets that close, we have a high state of awareness,” he said.

Adams said those at D.W. McMillan Hospital and local downtown manufacturers were ready to act should flooding become a problem.

“And still now, we’re not out of the woods yet,” he said. “We’re watching things with baited breath. Any rainfall we get doesn’t have to be significant to be a problem.

“I don’t want to panic anyone, but people should continue to watch and be prepared,” he said.

Adams cautioned residents to remain up-to-date on changing weather conditions and to heed the “turn around, don’t drown” motto.

“Any time with flood waters, the major thing is don’t drive through it,” he said. “People think, ‘Oh, I know this road. It doesn’t get deep here.’ You can’t tell what’s under that water – or what’s not there if the road is washed out. It’s not worth it.

“Don’t put yourself and others at risk,” he said. “It’s really not worth it.”