West Alabama Thursday Briefing
It is Thursday February 8, 2024. Today's Severe Weather Awareness Week highlight is flooding and flash flooding.
The difference between flooding and flash flooding is largely the time that it takes to occur. Flooding generals results when continuous rainfall swells creeks, streams, rivers and lakes over a period of time.
Flash flooding generally is the result of excessive rainfall over a short period of time making runoff difficult. Often flash flooding happens when water accumulates faster than it can drain, usually within three to six hours of heavy rainfall.
Both flooding and flash flooding can result in threats to property and life. National Weather Service Birmingham Meteorologist Gerald Satterwhite points out that they are a killer because so many people do not respect the power of water.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that over half of all flood-related drownings occur when a vehicle is driven into hazardous flood water. The next highest percentage of flood-related deaths is due to walking into or near flood waters. People underestimate the force and power of water. Many of the deaths occur in cars swept downstream. Many of these drownings are preventable. Never drive around the barriers blocking a flooded road. The road may have collapsed under that water.
A mere 6 inches of fast-moving flood water can knock over an adult. It takes just 12 inches of rushing water to carry away most cars and just 2 feet of rushing water can carry away SUVs and trucks. It is NEVER safe to drive or walk into flood waters.
Know the terms:
- Flood Advisory: Be Aware: An Advisory is issued when a specific weather event that is forecast to occur may become a nuisance. A Flood Advisory is issued when flooding is not expected to be bad enough to issue a warning. However, it may cause significant inconvenience, and if caution is not exercised, it could lead to situations that may threaten life and/or property.
- Flood Watch: Weather conditions are favorable for a flood to occur.
- Flood Warning: Take Action! A Flood Warning is issued when the hazardous weather event is imminent or already happening. A Flood Warning is issued when flooding is imminent or occurring.
- Flash Flood Watch: Weather conditions are favorable for flash flooding to occur.
- Flash Flood Warning: Take Action! A Flash Flood Warning is issued when a flash flood is imminent or occurring. If you are in a flood prone area move immediately to high ground. A flash flood is a sudden violent flood that can take from minutes to hours to develop. It is even possible to experience a flash flood in areas not immediately receiving rain.
- Flash Flood Emergency Alert: While rare, flooding conditions are so severe that they pose a major threat to life and can cause catastrophic damage. A flash flood emergency may be issued in cases where floodwaters have reached never-before-seen levels, multiple water rescue teams have been dispatched or when a major dam has failed.
There is a risk of excessive rainfall and flooding across portions of West Alabama this coming weekend.
Today: Mostly cloudy, with a high near 63. South wind 5 to 10 mph.
Tonight: A 20 percent chance of showers after midnight. Cloudy, with a low around 53. South wind around 5 mph.
Friday: A 30 percent chance of showers, mainly between 9am and noon. Cloudy, with a high near 72. South wind 5 to 10 mph.
Friday Night: A 30 percent chance of showers after midnight. Cloudy, with a low around 60. South wind 5 to 10 mph.
Saturday: A chance of showers, then showers likely and possibly a thunderstorm after noon. Cloudy, with a high near 71. South wind 5 to 10 mph. Chance of precipitation is 70%.
Saturday Night: Showers and possibly a thunderstorm. Low around 55. Chance of precipitation is 90%.
Sunday: Showers likely and possibly a thunderstorm. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 67. Chance of precipitation is 70%.
Sunday Night: Showers and possibly a thunderstorm. Low around 53. Chance of precipitation is 100%.
Next Week: Rain Monday and Monday night with mostly sunny conditions during the day and mostly clear nights through midweek. Highs in the upper 50s to lower 60s. Lows in the lower to mid 30s.
Topping the News:
Is Gov. Ivey going to get her wish? During her State of the State Address Tuesday night Gov. Ivey called on lawmakers to allow the state's voters to cast a ballot on a statewide education lottery and gaming. Yesterday the House Gaming Study Committee told a press conference that illegal gaming is already a big money business in all 67 counties. They recommended giving voters the right to vote to approve or disapprove it to be made legal.
If passed by lawmakers, then approved by voters this fall, the bill would establish an independent gaming commission in Alabama.
That commission would watch over five approved forms of gambling listed in the bill: Casino gambling, a statewide lottery, sports betting... even bingo and raffles.
Seven sites would be approved for casinos, including one in West Alabama's Greene County where parimutuel wagering is already legal.
A bus load of representatives from the Chamber of Commerce of West Alabama is in Montgomery for their annual visit with state leadership. They are meeting with lawmakers, representatives of the administration and lobbyist to put forth local priorities and be briefed on issues.
Former Alabama basketball player Darius Miles will spend another month in the Tuscaloosa County Jail after attorneys and the circuit judge presiding over the capital murder case against him agreed to push back a hearing that was scheduled for later this month.
He has been jailed since last January, charged with capital murder for allegedly providing his lifelong friend Michael "Buzz" Davis with a handgun immediately used in a gunfight that killed a 23-year-old woman from Birmingham.
Duncanville Volunteer Fire Department has taken another step toward building a new fire station with help from the Tuscaloosa County Commission. Using American Rescue Plan Act funds, the department has moved toward the quarter million-dollar price tag for construction of the new facility on Hargrove East. It will replace the current 1987 built station just off U.S. 82 East next to Maxwell Elementary School.
Since 2021 "Neighborhood Bridges", a non-profit in Tuscaloosa County, has been helping students with classroom needs. The Tuscaloosa County Commission has approved $35,000 to help the organization fund field trips, band instruments, and other school needs that their families may not be able to provide.
The Alabama Board of Education is being presented a resolution today pertaining to cellphones in schools. The resolution states, " (the board) recognizes that national studies show that using cellular telephones or other electronic communication devices in classrooms can disrupt and distract from the learning environment, negatively impact test scores, and affect long-term learning retention."
Concluding the resolution the board writes, " That the Alabama State Board of Education strongly encourages each local board of education to adopt a policy limiting the use of cellular telephones and or other electronic communication devices while on school property that is consistent with § 16-1-27, Ala. Code 1975, “Use of Electronic Communication Devices on School Property."
Alabamians have a 3% tax on grocery items. But don't look for that to drop any further because revenues are flattening, and federal COVID-19 funds are ending. Alabama is one of 13 states that taxes groceries, including Mississippi, Arkansas, Tennessee and Hawaii.
"Embarrassing", that is the only word that can be used to describe the Alabama Men's Basketball Team's blowout by Auburn down on the plains last night. 99-81 is the largest Tiger's point total on a Southeastern Conference team since 1995.
Auburn followed a similar game plan used by Tennessee in their throttling of Bama a few weeks ago. The Tigers were in the face of UA's vaunted three-point shooters and outmuscled Bama under the basket.
AU great Charles Barkley summed up the problem for Nate Oats team, “Alabama got all these little skinny dudes out there. Coach Oats, Nate, does a fantastic job,” Barkley said during the ESPN broadcast. “When I was looking at the game early, I said, ‘Man, Broome (Tigers Forward Johni Broome) should have a big night’ because Alabama, their guards are terrific, but they have no size inside.” He did!
Alabama stays on the road Saturday with a game at tough LSU.
The Alabama Women's Basketball Team (18-6 overall, 5-4 SEC) faces one of its arch-rivals tonight. The Tide hosts the Lady Vols of Tennessee (14-7 overall, 7-2 SEC) at Coleman. Tipoff is 6:00pm for the "Power of Pink, Play for Kay" game.
Have a blessed day and ROLL TIDE!!