South Alabama Prepares for Soggy Fay

MOBILE, Ala. (AP) - Tropical Storm Fay's possible threat to south Alabama could bring several days of heavy rain starting Saturday, improving farmland drought conditions, but causing flooding.

National Weather Service meteorologist Jeff Garmon in Mobile says Fay could dump 8-15 inches of rain on the coastal area, depending on how fast the storm moves, and cause significant flooding.

The storm's 30-40 mph winds are expected to stir up bay and offshore waters.

Mobile County Emergency Management Agency Director Walt Dickerson says EMA officials will meet Friday morning to continue preparations, with plans to open some storm shelters if needed.

Farmers are concerned that Fay's downpours could rot some cotton - unless the sun breaks through soon after the storm passes - and hamper corn harvests.

Cotton expert Dale Monks of the Alabama Cooperative Extension System says this year's rainfall has improved drought conditions over the last few years and produced an exceptional soybean crop.

Extension System peanut expert Kris Balkcom says Fay probably won't damage the peanut crop in southeast Alabama because the peanuts are not ready to harvest.

He says rain would help them. He said it was dry at planting time for about eight weeks, but rainfall has been adequate.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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