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motorists line up on U.S. Hwy. 280 after an afternoon deluge rendered the road impassable. | Austin Nelson
motorists line up on U.S. Hwy. 280 after an afternoon deluge rendered the road impassable. | Austin Nelson

Archived Story

Flash flood closes Hwy. 280

Published 11:09am Thursday, July 11, 2013

Heavy rains bombard city, closing several roads, rerouting traffic

The band practice field at Benjamin Russell High School was transformed into a lake, with this whirlpool forming around a drain. | Austin Nelson
The band practice field at Benjamin Russell High School was transformed into a lake, with this whirlpool forming around a drain. | Austin Nelson

Strong thundershowers passed slowly through Alexander City Wednesday, leaving areas of flooding in their wake – including U.S. Highway 280.

“We got torn up,” said city engineer Gerard Brewer. “It was strong storms that came in a really short period of time.”

Travelers on U.S. Highway 280 felt the effects of the shower as a portion was blocked off because of flooding. Alabama Department of Transportation employees enforced a detour around the stretch of road.

Brewer and his team were out surveying the streets in the afternoon following the downpour, noting flooded locations.

“We’re seeing flooding around 11th St. West,” Brewer said. “There’s some flooding at city hall related to some roof drains that did not operate properly.”

Workers at city hall were left mopping and vacuuming floors after rain gushed in and flowed down staircases.

Brewer said they also kept an eye on Brown Nursing Home, which experienced a lot of water but did not become an emergency situation.

“It did appear that it (the water) was going down when we left,” Brewer said.

Matt Anderson, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Birmingham said the reoccurrence of rain showers recently augmented Wednesday’s situation.

“It saturated the ground and made it to where the ground is just not absorbing as much precipitation,” Anderson said.

Anderson said the shower was typical of summer – slow-moving and heavy.

“They’re pretty good precipitation producers,” Anderson said.

Alexander City was under an urban small stream advisory as a result of the weather system, which Anderson said is typically issued for areas of poor drainage.

While Wednesday afternoon remained mostly clear, Anderson said meteorologists are observing a pattern of wet weather that will likely continue throughout the summer.

“We’re looking at a pretty good chance of rain,” Anderson said. “The weekend looks like we may start drying out just a bit.”

A drier weekend might be welcome, especially if there are more rains to come.

“I really would like to see a lot of this water that’s already on the ground get out of here,” Brewer said.

 

 

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