While providing much-needed rain, thunderstorms that rumbled through the area late Tuesday and early Wednesday produced flash flooding in some areas of Auburn and Lee County.
|Auburn police officers place barricades around a fallen tree|
“There were some reports around the Auburn University area that saw a little bit of flooding issues in some slow-drainage areas,” said Chris Tate, Lee County Emergency Management training officer. “In Auburn, they blocked off a couple of roads to allow the water to drain.”
On West Thach Avenue, Auburn police officers placed barricades around a fallen tree limb that closed the roadway in both directions near Hemlock Drive, one block from Auburn University's campus.
Also, the Opelika Fire Department responded during heavy rains to an accident scene involving an overturned 18-wheeler on Interstate 85 at approximately 1:30 a.m. Wednesday, said Diane Thompson, OFD spokesperson. Thompson said the driver was uninjured.
Tate also said minor flooding was reported to the Lee County EMA in areas of Smiths Station and Beulah. A flash flood warning had been issued at 12:30 a.m. Wednesday for eastern Lee County, northeastern Russell County and southeastern Chambers County, and expired at approximately 3:30 a.m.
WRBL Chief Meteorologist Bob Jeswald said there were some areas of Lee and Chambers counties that received up to three inches of rain.
“In a three-hour period, we got 1.9 inches of rain with totals capping out at 2.38 inches of rainfall in the Opelika-Auburn area,” Jeswald said. “More rain is definitely on the way.”
A secondary front moving through the area will create chances of rain showers through Friday before clearing out by the weekend, Jeswald said. Folks can look forward to morning lows in the upper 50s with highs in the low 80s over the next few days.
The U.S. Drought Monitor’s Sept. 13 map placed Lee County in the severe to extreme drought categories. And, despite Tuesday’s rainfall, Jeswald said the East Alabama area remains under drought conditions.
“We made up a huge deficit, but we’re still in a drought,” Jeswald said, pointing out that much of Tuesday’s “torrential” rainfall was lost as runoff.