Weather dampens county; causes fire

Published 12:03 am Tuesday, February 26, 2013

This weekend’s severe weather is credited with two road closures and an early Saturday morning house fire, area officials said Monday.

Rains began pelting the county Friday night, bringing with it bouts of lighting. Antioch Volunteer Fire Chief Alex Leonard said the Antioch Road home of Reese and Barbara Holland was struck just after 5 a.m. Saturday.

“They were very lucky,” Leonard said. “It hit at the carport and was contained in that area. It was a heck of way to wake up on a Saturday morning, that’s for sure.”

Leonard said firefighters were quickly able to douse the flame, keeping it from spreading to the other areas of the home.

County Engineer Darren Capps said waters have closed two area roads – County Road 10 next to the Florala Airport, close to the Geneva County line, and Bass Bridge Road.

“On County Road 10, the road is undermined because of all the rain,” Capps said. “We may have to replace the culvert, but we’ve got to wait until the rain stops. As for Bass Bridge Road, its closure is typical for the weather. It’s a low-grade road that gets covered with water when we get a lot of rain.”

On Monday, a warm front over the northern Gulf of Mexico was making slow progress north to central Mississippi and Alabama. The National Weather Service forecast the day’s local rainfall totals between 2-4 inches, with 7 inches possible.

“What that means is this heavy rainfall will result in localized flash flooding of small streams and flood prone areas today into early Tuesday,” said Susan Harris, the county’s emergency management agency director. “These impacts could linger into midweek, even though the rain by then will move east of the region. Mostly minor flooding will result on several larger rivers due to runoff.”

The county is currently under a river flood warning until Friday morning as the Conecuh River is forecast to rise above its 27-foot flood stage this afternoon and 27.9 feet by early Wednesday afternoon, Harris said. Weather reports show similar warnings have been issued for the areas of the county impacted by the Blackwater and Yellow Rivers.