Marshall County EMA discusses concerns after heavy rainfall

Northeast Alabama
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MARSHALL COUNTY Ala. – Heavy rain over the last week is making for some soggy land and increasing the risk of more downed trees. Many trees were damaged by the EF-2 tornado that hit Marshall County on Saturday but didn’t fall, leaving EMA employees concerned.

Tuesday was another rainy, winter day in Marshall County with more wet weather to come.

“I think we’re probably going get forecasted between 1.5 and 2 inches of rainfall over the next six to seven days,” said Marshall County EMA operations specialist George Harwell.

Severe storms blasted the area Saturday, January 11, 2020, producing a damaging tornado in Union Grove.

The strong winds and heavy rain from that storm system created a more vulnerable environment after the fact.

“We had a lot of tree damage. We have a lot of trees that are stressed at the moment. We have a lot of saturated soil from heavy rainfall over the past probably seven to 10 days. Trees are very susceptible to wind if they have saturated soil, they’re going to easily topple,” added Harwell.

He said there are no specific concerns of trees toppling but said there’s always the possibility of trees coming down onto homes, powerlines, and into the roads if there’s wind.

“The wind is on the calm side through today, tonight, most of tomorrow. It’ll be ramping up tomorrow night,” Harwell said Tuesday.

Harwell told WHNT News 19 that his biggest concern is ponding water or nuisance flooding in the road.

“That might happen within the city when the storm drains, water system gets overcome and it’ll stand in the roadway. Easy to hydroplane causing accidents,” said Harwell.

Harwell said they are also keeping a close eye on the Paint Rock River in case of flooding on county roads and nearby fields.

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