Baldwin County continued to dry out Monday after almost a week of severe weather that destroyed homes and shut down two major highways for more than a week.
On the Eastern Shore, U.S. 90 and Ala. 181 will be closed for more than a week, Lee Reach, maintenance engineer for the Alabama Department of Transportation, said He said the rains washed out culverts on both highways. In Daphne, U.S. 90 remained closed between Baldwin County 13 and Ala. 181. Traffic was also being routed around a closed section of Ala. 181 between Baldwin County 64 and Austin Road.
“It’ll be at least the middle of next week at the earliest before they’re back,” he said Monday
A damage survey team from the National Weather Service in Mobile has completed an initial damage assessment of the storms that oved through the Robertsdale and Elsanor communities of central Baldwin County Friday morning.
The team found evidence of damaging winds that occurred along the leading edge of a severe bow echo that moved through the Robertsdale and Elsanor areas between 4:00 a.m. and 4:15 a.m. Friday morning.
The team found a path of straight line wind damage from 200 to 400 yards wide and was near two miles long. the worst damage along the path occurred near the County Road 85 area just north of US Highway 90 where six single family homes of varying construction techniques experienced significant structural damage to roofs, and walls.
Heavy rains caused some big problems in Baldwin County. In Loxley, ditches filled up quickly with storm water and area creeks became raging whitewater rapids! Many roads were underwater. Several homes in the area nearly flooded leaving rising water just feet from neighbors’ doorsteps.
And just west of Loxley, a section of Highway 90 was shut down for several hours this morning. A drain pipe broke sending water across the highway and washing out part of the asphault.
The situation was not that much different in Daphne. The Lake Forest community got their fair share of the rain too. Several area creeks spilled their banks and caused some problems there as well. At least four homes were flooded.
At Monday’s regular meeting, the City Council approved the electric department’s request to seek bids without public advertisement for a transformer to replace the one at the Church Street Electric Substation that failed last week, causing a fire at the substation and power outages in the central business district.
A special City Council meeting to consider emergency bids received and award contracts for the replacement transformer and related machinery has been set for Monday, 5:30 p.m., in the conference room at City Hall.
“We will be hard-pressed to make it through the summer without this transformer in place,” said Scott Sligh, electric department superintendent, at Monday’s meeting.
The City Council has awarded Asphalt Services Inc. a $40,000 public works contract for emergency stormwater sewer repairs in the Westminster Gates subdivision. The unanimous decision was reached just after 1 p.m. Monday during a special called meeting of the council to address the issue before additional inclement weather moves into the area around 3 p.m. Tuesday.
Torrential rains from the previous weekend created a sizable sinkhole and compromised the stability of the sewer line, but the council’s decision allows public works crews to repair the line.
Scary moments near downtown Fairhope Saturday morning when police get a call about a possible bomb threat. It all started when someone spotted a suspicious device behind a nursing home on Summit Street.
Fairhope Police, the fire department, and the bomb squad were called around 11:30 Saturday morning when someone found a device with a note attached behind the Golden Senior Living Center on Summit Street.
After about three hours authorities realized they weren’t dealing with a bomb at all.
“They looked at the device and were able to identify it based on their training as a weather balloon which had landed here in Fairhope.” Sawyer said.
A grocery store project is drawing concern from a group of Fairhope homeowners. Some residents say the site of a new Publix grocery store doesn’t have adequate drainage. They say sediment has been leaking into fly creek when it rains. One homeowner says the storms of the past weekend have made the problem worse. City officials are under a gag order on this project.
Fairhope mayor says the project will be built to code.
A man drowned around 3 P.M. today on Cotton Bayou in Orange Beach.
Orange Beach police have confirmed reports that a man drowned, but they have not released the name of the man or the details of the incident.
A witness says the man was an adult male from Kentucky who was vacationing at the Sunswept Condominium complex in Orange Beach, Ala. He says the man was pulled from the water and administered CPR, but rescuers could not revive him
The case of a maintenance man charged with arson after allegedly setting fire to a Gulf Shores house he was secretly renting out will go to a grand jury, a Baldwin County judge ruled last week.
Timothy Jerome Underwood, 52, of Foley was charged in February with first-degree arson in connection with the Feb. 2 fire at the West 12th Avenue home that investigators said he set while two men were still inside.
No one was injured in the fire, according to investigators
In his annual state of the city address Fairhope’s mayor says they have some challenges ahead.
“I think it’s going to make us stronger and better because we have to look at our sales and expenses even closer,” said Mayor Tim Kant after his address. He told the audience that the city’s government needs to narrow its focus and not try to fund everything.
When the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers recently proposed granting 10 landowners permits to build 3,093 boat slips along the Intracoastal Waterway, questions quickly arose about whether doing so would preclude nearby property owners from ever having any dock space of their own.
Determining how much boat traffic the 10-mile-long, 125-foot-wide shipping channel can safely handle is the main objective of an environmental impact study that federal regulators have worked on for about three years at the request of the developers, who funded the $1.4 million endeavor. As such, the corps and its consultants have, in a draft of the study released this month, decided that 3,093 new slips would put as much recreational boat traffic on the canal as it could handle.
While there’s a little wiggle room built into that number to allow for single-slip requests from homeowners, anyone wanting dock space for more than a few vessels will have to conduct a supplemental study to gauge how their plans would affect the waterway, said Mike Moxey, a Mobile-based corps official who oversaw the environmental impact study