Firefighters Eyeing Alabama River's High Water Levels


By Catalina Trivino

The Montgomery Fire Department is tracking water levels on the Alabama River tonight. They say it could take days for water levels in some areas to go down with all the rain we've had in the past few days.

As nightfall comes, fire officials say the water on the Alabama River is going to get even higher. Usually the riverfront area is about 18 to 20 ft. deep, but with Jordan Dam open, it could peak up to 40 ft.  And it's not the only place that's prone to flooding that firefighters are watching.

Greely Wales lives off Federal Drive. He says when the maps look like this, he's worried water could get inside his home.

"You can see the bricks I had to walk on to keep from getting my feet wet to get the newspaper this morning, but it's gone down a lot," Said Wales.

Wales lives near this drainage off Biltmore Road. Montgomery Firefighters say the water level is several feet higher than usual. High waters are the reason the fire department has brought in extra man power ready with multiple boats in strategic locations in the city., but it's the Alabama River firefighters are keeping an extra eye on.
"This is a normal walkway that they use as a ramp to go down to the lower dock to get on the riverboat and just looking at it visually for us, we can see that normally there's about a 10 foot drop from that dock there to concrete level," Said Lt. Ashley Payton with the Montgomery Fire Department.

But the worry now on the river: How high will the water get?

Take a look at this photo: This is Jordan Dam in Wetumpka. There's been so much rain, Alabama Power has opened the dam -- and all that water is going into the Alabama River.

Fire officials are asking drivers to take precaution incase the water reaches streets.
"If they're going down the road and the water has covered the road and you cannot see the road, you need to turn around. You do not need to drive over a roadway that's covered," Said Lt. Payton.

Wales says he'll be eyeing the flooding, too.

"I've been here 60 years and I'm fairly used to it and it is a little problem," Said Wales.

Montgomery got about 3 inches of rain with the severe weather. The fire department says they'll continue to eye the river incase the worst happens.

Firefighters think the gates at Jordan Dam will be open throughout the night. They say to watch for possible rushing water, especially in low-lying areas.

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