Tombigbee River floods, but Demopolis area is safe

Published 10:53 pm Friday, January 9, 2009

Corps of Engineers lock operator Steve Smith said NOAA and the National Weather service is predicting a crest of the Tombigbee River on Mon., but the 76 to 77 feet prediction for the Demopolis Lock is not close to the record of 92 feet.

Even though NOAA puts the flood waters in the lowests level of the moderate flood stage, lots of people are concerned about just how high the water could rise. Flood stage in the Demopolis area is 68 feet.

Smith said his office has fielded thousands of phone calls from those who have property on the river. “We have people who live out of state and they call to see about things,” Smith said. “Every time we take a call there is another one right behind it.”

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With this stage of flood, the only precauton the Corp is taking is to close down the locak at night for safety reasons. “The traffic on the river is way down,” he said. “Mariners have a hard time with the current and the waters are definitely cleaning the banks.” That simply means there is a great deal of debris in the water.

Over at McCrory Trailer Park, owned by Lonnie Watson and his family, full time residents and vacationers there have moved a few travel trailers and small boats, but Watson said these residents are hardened river dwellers and this is not a flood of particular concern.

“We’ve been here for 25 years,” Watson said. “This is home. And this is not a hundred-year flood. Once the river crests it drops very fast. The rain that bothers us is what Birmingham gets. When it rains there, three days later it reaches here.”

For more information and the latest updates on the flood from NOAA and the Weather Service please visit the website the Corps works off of at