DECATUR, Ala. - Decatur Police blocked off the road leading into the campground at Point Mallard Park Saturday. After more than six inches of rain fell on the area during the past 24 hours, people were forced to evacuate and head to higher ground.
The campground is more than a place to get away. "This is my home," Nathan Lowery told us. "I've been here for two and a half years, going on three years." He's never seen it flood like this before. "Not this bad," he said, "Not this bad."
Depending on where you camp in the park, the water is anywhere from one to six feet deep. Pointing to the area closest to the Tennessee River, Nathan told us, “There was a car left over there - they couldn't get out and it's probably over the top of it now.”
But most people had been preparing for what was coming. “They put notices on most everybody's door and just word of mouth to let everybody know, 'Hey, you need to start preparing for the worst and hope for the best,'" Johnny Wininger said, "And needless to say, we got the worst."
He and his wife Lisa live at the campground because he got tired of making the drive from Scottsboro to his job in Decatur. "Never seen anything in the two years that we’ve been here," he said, "We've gotten rain but nothing like this."
They started pulling out campers Thursday afternoon. "Every spare minute we've had, we've been trying to pull campers out of here and get everybody to higher ground," Wininger told us. His was one of the last campers they pulled out. When they woke up Saturday morning, they were still dry. "We had no water in our spot and since then, it’s probably two feet deep," he said. And more was on the way.
Even after the floodwaters recede, it's probably going to take three or four days for things to dry out and then, they've got to worry about the cleanup. That could take a week or two.