County receives more than 4 inches during storm

Published 8:36 am Monday, August 25, 2008

Chilton County received beneficial rainfall and some severe weather from the remnants of Tropical Storm Fay today.

The Chilton Research and Extension Center reported this morning that a rainfall total of 4.38 inches from the storm – 1.57 inches of which came between 7 and 9:45 this morning. In addition to the rain, two tornado warnings were issued for the county.

Center Superintendent Jim Pitts said some areas of the county have received as much as 4 to 6 inches on Saturday and Sunday.

That kind of rainfall is making School Superintendent Keith Moore watch the weather closely today.

The threat of severe weather and flash flooding has closed all county schools for today. Jefferson State also canceled all classes today.

Not only was the severe weather an issue in the decision to close school, but also the possibility of flash flooding.

“We didn’t want to have a school bus to get stuck on a washed out road in the middle of a tornado,” Moore said.

Moore said no decision has been made about closing schools on Tuesday, but they are monitoring the situation closely.

While the storm has already caused heavy rainfall, Chilton County engineer Tony Wearren said none of the county roads have been closed due to roads washing out.

“Our crews have mostly been working on clearing trees out of roadways between Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning,” Wearren said. “As soon as we have received a call about a tree being down, our crews have been dispatched to clear the roadway.”

The storm also created numerous power outages. Alabama Power spokesperson Jan Ellis said 322 customers are still without power, which is down from the height of the storm at 2,000. Statewide, there were about 7,800 people who still didn’t have power, which was down from the 90,000 at the height of the storm.

Central Alabama Electric Cooperative also reported nearly 7,500 power outages at its highest point. The hardest impacted areas were Autauga, Chilton and Elmore counties while outages were also reported throughout Lowndes, Coosa and Dallas counties. By 10 p.m. on Sunday, all power had been restored.

In addition to the tornado watch, the county is also under a flash flood watch.

The remnants of Fay will produce rain bands bringing additional rain in amounts of 1-3 inches with locally higher amounts up to five inches today and up to 4-6 inches by Tuesday with locally higher amounts up to 8 inches. The weather service says this could potentially cause flash flooding.

For more on this story, check and tomorrow’s edition of The Clanton Advertiser.