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After wet start to week, officials in Pell City, St. Clair Co. look ahead

St. Clair County Operations Center

The St. Clair County Operations Center in Pell City.

PELL CITY -- The area experienced plenty of rain Monday night, but with water receding, officials are looking at weather later in the week. 

“Most roads in the county right now are passable,” Bryan Schaefers with the St. Clair County Emergency Management Agency said Tuesday morning. 

Schaefers said several roads saw issues while rains fell Monday night, including Shore Drive and Cherokee Road in Springville, which had their cross drain pipe washed out. The pipe was repaired Tuesday morning. All in all, most road conditions were normal by late Tuesday morning.

Pell City and St Clair County schools closed Tuesday due to flooding concerns. Pell City Superintendent Dr. James Martin said he had concerns about students safety after buses ran their afternoon routes Monday.

“We talked to our drivers and transportation director to get an idea of where we are right now,” he said Monday evening.

Martin said drivers reported they were already having to reroute around flooded roads. He said that information and concerns for student drivers led to the decision to close Pell City Schools for the day.

Schaefers said all Pell City roads were passable, though some may still have water on them. He said Mays Bend Road in Pell City was still operating only one lane Tuesday morning but was not closed. 

Schaefers said Pinedale Road and Double Bridge Road in Ashville still had standing water, but both were still travelable.  

Schaefers urged drivers to be careful on roads that still have water on them. 

Alabama Highway Patrol Cpl. Steve Smith said the rain has already caused several accidents, some severe. 

“We have worked a significant amount of crashes related to hydroplaning on wet roadways,” Smith said.

Smith said a couple of those accidents resulted in drivers being ejected from their vehicles due to not wearing seat belts.

Lincoln Mayor Lew Watson said there were typical flooding issues in his city.

“We did fairly well,” he said. 

Watson said Lincoln had some roads that were partially flooded, but that yard flooding was more common. 

“We didn’t have a road closed,” he said Tuesday morning. 

While flooding may have stayed under control Monday, Alabama Power Company officials said that within the last two weeks, 4 inches of rain has fallen in the Warrior, Tallapoosa and Coosa river basins. 

APC officials said weather forecasts show another 3.7 inches may fall before Sunday.

“Weiss and Logan Martin lakes on the Coosa, as well as Smith Lake on the Black Warrior River, are expected to exceed summer levels this week,” APC officials said.

Company officials said they would continue operation of spillway gates in order to control flooding potential and move water down stream.

Coosa Valley Electric Cooperative officials said they do not expect to see outages based on flooding this week. They said they were still worried about the possibility of severe weather.  

“If the weather does turn severe Wednesday, we face potential widespread power outages,” said Leland Fuller, CVEC general manager. “The ground is saturated from days of rain, making it easy for strong winds to push trees into our power lines. We pray this does not happen.”

Taylor Mitchell, Daily Home reporter covering Pell City.