County sees 5-6 inches of rain

Published 11:59 pm Friday, March 27, 2009

More than 5 inches of rain has already fallen on parts of Covington County this week, and the total will rise today as more rain and heavy winds are expected to hit the county.

Keith Williams of the National Weather Service in Mobile said the southern part of the county near Florala has seen 5.3 inches of rainfall since Wednesday; Searight and Fairfield came in second with 3 to 4 inches, and Opp logged 1 to 2 inches.

“(Today) Covington County remains under a flash flood watch throughout the afternoon,” Williams said. “During the morning hours there is a good chance of showers, but they will become quite numerous — and could be heavy — in the afternoon. So the weather isn’t quite over yet. It will be more of the same that you’ve seen over the last two days.”

Jeremie Schaffer, the county’s assistant emergency management agency director, said over the last two days, the county has not only seen a significant amount of rainfall but also a significant amount of damage.

On Thursday, a storm cell completely destroyed two homes in the Onycha community and damaged more than five other structures as high winds cut across the county.

“And that’s what Mobile Weather said it was,” Schaffer said. “It was straight-line winds somewhere around 90 miles per hour — not a tornado — that caused that damage.”

On Friday, the damage and rainfall continued, she said.

“We’ve been blessed today,” she said. “We did have some damage today. Four houses were damaged. One house on Prestwood Bridge Road had a tree on the corner and a hole in the roof. Two on Bush Isle Road, side-by-side — one had minor damage while the other had two holes in the roof from a tree. We had a busted window on Straughn School Road. So, all in all, it was not as bad as could have been, but it was bad enough for the people who had the damage.”

Schaffer said today’s weather pattern will be much of the same from the last two days.

“The latest information we have is that another band of severe storms will be coming through around midnight (Friday) and be gone by Saturday evening,” she said.