Looking Back: 30 years ago, the area was flooded

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, March 11, 2020

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Thirty years ago, in 1990, much of the news covered in the Atmore Advance pertained to flooding in the area and especially in Brewton.  As we are having some crazy weather with rain and wind, I hope it is not a repeat of what happened thirty years ago. 

The Atmore Advance, dated March 18, said that approximately 10-12 inches of rain fell in Brewton, turning the surrounding area into a lake. Sheriff Tim Hawsey said that it was unreal.

“The Brewton area was totally knocked out,” he said. “There was about 24-25 inches in the county jail. All inmates had to be moved up to the second floor. We had a few motorists stranded by the water in the western part of the county.”

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Hawsey said that a lot depended on what happened upstream in Elba as to how much water would eventually flow south from the rivers and streams north of the area. At one point, it measured 4.595 inches at Point A at River Falls near Andalusia and was rising rapidly.

There were about 45-50 roads in the county that were closed for various lengths of time. About 27people took shelter in the Red Cross shelter at Brewton Elementary School. An average of 10 to 12 inches of rain fell in southeastern Mississippi, southern Alabama and the panhandle of Florida. Although Atmore did not suffer the damages that Brewton and Flomaton did, there was some spots of damage. The city of Atmore was asking for federal aid by having the area declared a disaster area. It was believed that the governor would declare Atmore, Brewton, Flomaton and surrounding areas disaster zones so those living there could receive federal aid to rebuild.