Boats docked for normally busy Memorial Day

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, May 28, 2003

Ah, Memorial Day. A long weekend. A day for barbecues. A day to get in the boat and tumble with the waves of the Tombigbee River.

Forget about it. At least the last part. Who wants to put a boat in a river that is eight feet above flood stage and full of floating boat destroyers?

Along with floating logs that would rip through a motor, Hansard said the 6-knot currents on the river would make for a long day.

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According to the National Weather Service, the Tombigbee River was scheduled to crest at 75 feet on Friday.

While Demopolis has seen much worse in the way of flooding (1960 and 1979 were the worst years Hansard can recall), officials at the Alabama Department of Public Health have gone so far as to issue a warning to residents who live in flooded areas.

Dr. Donald Williamson, the state health officer, said flooding can be hazardous to a person’s health.

Along the same lines, Williamson said people with private wells need to be extremely cautious after a flood.

Staying Safe

While water may be the dominant topic for this year’s Memorial Day festivities, Demopolis Police Chief Charles Avery said local law enforcement officials will do their part to make this a safe holiday.

Across Alabama and the United States, a long-standing program called "Click It or Ticket" will be enforced in Demopolis.

According to the Alabama Department of Public Safety, officers will emphasize safety belt and child restraint enforcement as part of the holiday safety initiatives.

And Avery said restraint tickets won’t be the only part of the program enforced by Demopolis police during the holiday.

The state Department of Public Safety estimates that 16 people may die as a result of traffic crashes during the Memorial Day weekend. Last year, nine motorists lost their lives in traffic crashes during this holiday &045;&045; five on rural roads and four in urban areas. Five of the crash victims were not using safety restraints, and at least one of the deaths was alcohol related.