Roads reopen after heavy rains cause flooding

Published 3:55 pm Tuesday, April 8, 2014

As heavy rains soaked portions of Chilton County overnight Sunday and Monday morning, several roads were closed due to flooding.

“The roads received so much water at one time,” Chilton County Engineer Tony Wearren said on Tuesday. “We closed about 12 roads on Monday, and we are now working to open those roads.”

Wearren said all of the roads should be open by late Tuesday or early Wednesday morning except County Road 515, which will be closed for “a while.”

“County Road 515 in the Verbena area was pretty much left with no road at all,” Wearren said. “The water got to be so much, and you were left with very little road.”

The National Weather Service in Calera confirmed on Monday that 8.6 miles east of Clanton received 5.5 inches and the northern portion of the county received about 2.85 inches of rain.

Wearren said looking at the work orders, it appeared the southern part of the county had more road issues due to more sand in that area.

“The southern part of the county has a lot more sand than the northern part, which has more rock,” Wearren said. “We were getting a lot of calls about road issues dealing with flooding in places like the New Convert area, Maplesville and Stanton, and we had some issues in Verbena.”

Wearren compared the heavy rains to a similar storm in 2009 when Chilton County was hit with flooding.

“In 2009, I know we even had to call FEMA in,” Wearren said. “I don’t remember the exact amount of rain we received, but the main difference with that flood and the one we received over the weekend was timing. In 2009, the rain fell over a period of a week, but this storm came quickly and dumped a bunch of water in just a few days.”

Roads that were closed on Monday due to flooding included: County Road 46 between County Road 73 and County Road 109, County Road 366, County Road 455, the 2000 block of County Road 495, 33602 Alabama Highway 22 in Verbena, County Road 381, County Road 480 at County Road 545, County Road 352, County Road 494, County Road 437 at County Road 438, County Road 480 at County Road 495, County Road 251 between County Road 456 and County Road 254, County Road 173 between County Road 42 and Alabama Highway 145, and County Road 515.

As of Tuesday afternoon, Wearren said his crews had roughly four or five roads left to open.

“We are working to get all of the roads open, and we will then go back and start repairing the roads that received a lot of damage,” Wearren said. “I am now starting to understand the term ‘flash flood.’ We were in good shape last week, and by Sunday night and Monday morning it hit us in an instant.”