WINSTON COUNTY - Although Winston County dodged a bullet when it came to tornadoes during Wednesday, March 17’s severe weather outbreak, flooding rains caused extensive damage, as well as extra costs for the county.
Winston County as a whole received an average of two inches of rain, with flooding conditions far worse on the county’s east side, where officials reported up to eight inches of rainfall, county officials said.
Flooding conditions were blamed for carving out a section of the shoulder of County Road 4033 just north of Swayback Bridge in the Helicon area, approximately 6 to 8 feet across and 10 to 15 feet deep, county road officials indicated.
The Winston County Road Department received numerous calls from residents during the storms about flooding over Sardis Airport Road and County Road 3107, as well as debris washed onto County Road 43, noted County Road Engineer James Glasgow.
“We have to look at some shoulders that possibly may have washed,” he said, “or look at the pipes that go under the road, to make sure they don’t have any damage.”
Crews are checking to see if a drainage culvert underneath County Road 43 became clogged during the heavy rains and caused debris to pour out onto the roadway.
“We’re in the initial stages of this,” added Glasgow.
County road department crews were busy Thursday, March 18, assessing damage reports based on their observation, as well as numerous reports that had been phoned in by residents concerning eroded sections of roadways, debris under a bridge and on roads, as well as clogged or damaged drainage areas, they said.
“There was a lot of rain,” said Glasgow. “We designed the side drains on a 25 year (flood event). I don’t think (this) was a 25-year event. Either they got clogged up or there was too much water for them to handle.
“The flash floods we had were mainly the Arley and Addison area,” Glasgow noted. “We have yet to find any reports on the west side of the county.”
Heavy rainfall during the storms not only caused Blevins Creek to rise several feet above normal stage, but also washed a heavy pile of debris up against the concrete supports of the bridge spanning County Road 39 at Blevins Creek, which flows into nearby Rock Creek, county officials said.
See complete story in the Northwest Alabamian.