Jackson County resources stretched thin during flooding

Northeast Alabama
Data pix.

JACKSON COUNTY, Ala. - Rain across Sand Mountain added to the already enormous amount of rain over the last 48 hours. Some roads are blocked off, while others just have signs reading "Water on the Road." Getting to all of those roads is a tough job and local EMA resources are stretched thin.

“It’s over the road down here now. Totally impassable. Somebody tried it the other night and they had get a wrecker to get them out of there. Tried driving through the water which is very dangerous, because you can’t tell where the main road is,” said Stevenson resident Sammy Smith.

Smith has lived near Crow Creek in Jackson County his whole life. County Road 45 typically leads to his favorite fishing spot.

“A little while ago down there was some fish going across the road, the fish are going across the current going that way,” exclaimed Smith.

He told WHNT News 19 while he is used to heavy winter rain, he is a bit nervous this year. “With 7 more inches, what they’re predicting, there’s no telling where it might be,” said Smith.

Jackson County Emergency Management Agency director Paul Smith said water levels are constantly going up and down in Jackson County. “We’ve had roads that were impassable yesterday that this morning are fine, this afternoon, they may be impassable again,” said Smith.

He and his employees have been out since 5 a.m. Tuesday checking the roads. If they see flooding, they let Public Works know.

“We’ll ask them to go check it and see if they deem it necessary to put a water over the road sign or a barricade, so that’s ultimately going to be their decision on that end,” explained Smith.

He told WHNT News 19 that while there are plenty of signs and barricades to go around, there’s just not enough manpower.

“There’s 2,200 lane miles of county road in Jackson County and just to put that into a bit better perspective if it was one lane, it would stretch from Jackson County to Los Angeles,” said Smith.

He encourages drivers to use common sense when driving in wet conditions.

“You can look at it and you might not think it’s very deep and then suddenly there’s a dip in the road surface and suddenly what was six inches is now 16 inches of water. Makes a big difference. It’s best not to drive through it at all. If you see water across the road, take the extra time to go the other way. It’s not worth the risk,” emphasized Smith.

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