Flooding in Dale County May Cause Evacuations

By: Erica Proffer Email
By: Erica Proffer Email

Emergency management workers are expecting the Choctawhatchee River to crest around 22 feet. That is three feet above flood stage.

The Choctawhatchee River in the Newton area and along Highway 84 in Daleville is expected to overflow its banks by Monday.

Saturday afternoon the water level was approaching six feet. That's up a foot since before Tropical Storm FAY.

"'This storm, ever since it first formed, the State Defense Force and the EMA have worked closely on preparing our plans and getting ready for this," says Eddie Henderson, State Defense Force.

Its places like the runoffs coming from the land, feeding into the river that is creating much of the danger.

Water level predictions expect the Choctawhatchee River to crest around 22 feet.

"The water speed has picked up some. The main concern, right now, is the rain north of us, feeding the rivers and putting more water in it," says Henderson.

The flooding is not expected to impact many bridges, since most are built high above the water.

Still, emergency management workers say they expect several dozen families to be impacted by overflowing river banks.

"The flood can come in a relatively fast manner. They need to have a plan in place and heed the warnings that are being put out by the National Weather Service and the local EMA offices, where they won't get caught in a situation they can't get out of," says Henderson

EMA workers have ordered 10,000 sandbags and 100 rolls of tarp. They will be stored in case they are needed.

Also, the National Guard has been called in to help anyone along the river seek higher ground.

Right now, evacuations are not mandatory. However, it is advised if you are in that area to take caution.

If you live along the Choctawhatchee River area, you can call the EMA Helpline for information on evacuations. That number is 445-0859.

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