North Alabama residents, emergency officials preparing for severe weather

Crews will be on standby Thursday night.

Posted: Dec 27, 2018 5:36 PM
Updated: Dec 27, 2018 7:40 PM

Madison County Emergency Management is warning people to be extra careful Thursday night while severe weather is happening.

Officials said Country Club Ave. could be one of the areas to have standing water, and people who live along the road said they've seen it firsthand in the past. Before the rain even started to fall, Linda King had already taken matters into her own hands at her home.

"I've already had to go out back and gather a few things that were blowing around," King said. "When it's heavy rain, water is always standing in the yard."

She said she knows her road is prone to flooding when there is a hard rain. She also said crews have redirected cars in the past due to standing water.

Madison County Emergency Management Coordinator Scott Worsham said drivers risk their lives if they don't obey barricades on the road.

"If there's a barricade, don't go around it. It's there for a reason," Worsham said.

Worsham said it only takes six inches of water to sweep a car away, and north Alabama soil can make it difficult to tell just how dangerous a road may be. If in doubt, just play it safe.

"If you don't know if the roadway is there or if it's been washed out, turn around. Don't drown," Worsham said.

Worsham said his crews will be on standby Thursday night. If conditions get bad, they'll coordinate barricades with police and help take care of fallen trees.

With a saturated ground and high winds, many people could experience fallen trees overnight. There are some things people can do to determine if a tree might not make it through a storm.

The owner of a local tree service, Nicholas Poppe, said people should pay attention to holes in a tree. Big holes could mean water is rotting into it, and little holes could mean bugs are inside causing damage.

With Thursday's weather, trees that already lean could be in extra danger. Poppe said it can be hard to predict how long a tree will survive.

"When the tree is starting to lean over and you can see the ground on one side is lifting up, so that's another big hazard with the rain, as well if you get rain and wind together," Poppe said.

Linda King said she suspects she'll have some cleanup to do at her property on Friday.

"I figure I'll have some tree limbs down tomorrow," King said.

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