West Alabama Monday Briefing
It is Monday February 12, 2024, Mardi Gras Monday. The day before Fat Tuesday and two days before Ash Wednesday. There are four parades through the streets of downtown Mobile today and Mardi Gras 2024 ends with six parades tomorrow on Fat Tuesday.
The origins of Mardi Gras can be traced to medieval Europe but in the U.S., New Orleans has the largest and the best-known Mardi Gras yet it apparently it was not the first. As early as 1703, the French held a type of Mardi Gras celebration in Mobile marking it as the oldest celebration, as New Orleans was not founded until 1718.
Mystic Societies sponsor balls and parades during the weeks leading up to Fat Tuesday. The celebration has spread to other areas of the state and Gulf Coast.
It is a soggy Mardi Gras Monday with thunderstorms and torrential overnight rain dropping two to almost four inches of rain across the area. There were some reports of scattered roadway flooding and ponding, but no severe weather developed.
A Flash Flood Watch remains in effect for counties along and south of the Interstate 20 corridor through West Alabama through this afternoon. Rain is expected to regenerate ahead of a cold front moving across the area.
The thunderstorms highlight the importance of remembering the lessons of Severe Weather Awareness Week last week.
Today: Showers likely and possibly a thunderstorm. Some of the storms could produce heavy rain. Mostly cloudy, with a temperature falling to around 58 by 5pm. Breezy, with a south wind 10 to 20 mph becoming west in the afternoon. Winds could gust as high as 30 mph. Chance of precipitation is 70%. New precipitation amounts between a tenth and quarter of an inch, except higher amounts possible in thunderstorms.
Tonight: Mostly cloudy, with a low around 37. Breezy, with a west wind 10 to 20 mph, with gusts as high as 30 mph.
Tuesday: Sunny, with a high near 58. Northwest wind 5 to 10 mph.
Tuesday Night: Mostly clear, with a low around 34. Northwest wind around 5 mph becoming calm in the evening.
Wednesday: Sunny, with a high near 66. Calm wind becoming south around 5 mph.
Wednesday Night: Partly cloudy, with a low around 38.
Remainder of the Week: Mostly sunny Thursday and mostly cloudy Friday. There will be strong chances of rain over the weekend. Highs will be in the mid 50s to the mid 60s. Lows will drop into the mid 40 and even further to the mid 30s over the weekend.
Topping the News:
Heavy rainfall has led to flooding along West Alabama tributaries. River Flood Warnings are in effect for the Tombigbee River at Bevill, Demopolis and Gainesville Lock and Dams affecting Greene, Marengo, Pickens, Sumter and Hale Counties. There is also a Flood Warning for the Black Warrior River at Selden Lock and Dam affecting Greene, Marengo and Hale Counties. Rivers are expected to crest anywhere from two to four feet above flood stage later this week.
Influenza is still on the rise in Alabama with a 2.9% increase in emergency room visits across the state over the last month. COVID19 cases are still increasing with a just over 2% rise. Meanwhile, the RSV virus is declining, down nearly 1% from New Year’s.
Alabama Hospitals Association President and CEO Dr. Donald Williamson says the increase during the winter months is not a surprise. Williamson says it is still not too late to take a flu, COVID19 or RSV vaccination.
Three employment opportunities are coming to Walker County this month. The first is tomorrow when Yorozu Automotive will be at the Jasper Career Center between 10:00am to 1:00pm. The company representatives will return for another job fair on February 20th.
Thursday week, Warrior Met Coal will be at the Jasper Career Center 9:00am until 2:00pm interviewing experienced and inexperienced. Miners.
A Walker County man died early Sunday morning in a single-vehicle accident outside Northport, according to Alabama State Troopers. Sergeant Jeremy J. Burkett, a spokesperson for the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency, Burkett said 53-year-old Orbert D. Odom was driving a 2012 Toyota Tundra which left the roadway and struck a ditch. Burkett said Odom, who lived in Oakman in Walker County.
Odom was not wearing a seatbelt and was ejected from the truck in the impact according to Burkett.
According to a UA release, "aspects of the history of enslavement on The University of Alabama’s campus, as well as its ties within and throughout the Tuscaloosa community" is part of ongoing research at The Capstone.
The Half Has Not Been Told: The Study of Race, Slavery and Civil Rights is a series of teach-ins sponsored by the Faculty Task Force on Creating a Commission on Race, Slavery and Civil Rights at The University of Alabama.
The study by a task force of staff, faculty and some students have compiled a list of those with ties to slavery on the UA campus and surrounding community.
A first of its kind teach-in was held Wednesday, Feb. 17, 2021, via Zoom. View the video of the event.
Kansas City won its second straight Super Bowl with a 25-22 OT victory over San Franscico in Las Vegas Sunday. Chief's QB Patrick Mahomes was voted MVP.
From UA Athletics: Alabama softball capped an undefeated weekend at the Buzz Classic with a 7-2 win over Longwood and a clutch finish to earn a 5-1 win over tournament host Georgia Tech.
Alabama (5-0) opened the day with a 7-2 win over Longwood (1-3),
In the second game against Georgia Tech (1-3), the Tide led 2-0 and held the Yellow Jackets hitless until a sixth-inning single. Alabama added some insurance in the top of the seventh on a bases-loaded wild pitch and a two-run single from Lauren Esman to make it 5-0 heading to the bottom half.
Georgia Tech loaded the bases with nobody out and sent a deep fly ball to right field. Larissa Preuitt made a jumping catch at the wall and threw it back in, as the Tide defense tagged up the runners at second and third for what was originally called a game-ending triple play. Upon further review, the catch and out at second were upheld but the runner at third was ruled to have tagged up successfully and scored on a sacrifice fly to make it 5-1. Now, with a runner on first and two out, Kayla Beaver (2-0) shut the door with her seventh strikeout of the game to seal the win.
From UA Athletics: Alabama women's basketball fell to No. 13/13 LSU, 85-66, on Sunday afternoon in Pete Maravich Assembly Center.
The Crimson Tide (19-7, 6-5 SEC) opened quickly, connecting on eight three-pointers while forcing eight LSU turnovers in the first half to hold the lead at the break, 41-31. LSU held Alabama to just nine points in the third to regain the lead for the first time since it led 4-3 in the game's opening minutes and held the lead until the end.
From UA Athletics: With its seventh consecutive victory and second straight on the road, the No. 21 Alabama men's tennis team (7-2) took a dominant 6-1 victory over Wisconsin (0-7) Sunday.
The Alabama women's tennis team defeated Indiana, 4-1, in its second match of the weekend at the Roberta Alison Baumgardner Tennis Facility, improving to 5-1 on the season.