Elba relieved as Pea River forecast changes
By Bryan Henry | September 18, 2020 at 9:07 PM CDT - Updated September 18 at 9:07 PM
ELBA, Ala. (WSFA) - There was a dramatic change in the Pea River flooding situation in Elba Friday.
What was initially predicted to be a crest of 40 feet was significantly altered. The new crest mark is now 32 feet, which means there’s a big sigh of relief in Elba.
The Pea River still sounded angry and full of rage Friday morning, but it was clear the water’s edge would advance no farther than the boat ramp.
It was a huge development for Joe Moretti.
“That was the best thing in the world I heard,” said Moretti.
Moretti lives three miles down stream and recalls all too well five years ago when the river missed getting into his home by just a few feet in another flood.
“We were worried because the last time I had 10 feet of water in the garage. My guest house was all under water, all the furniture. I just got done putting all the stuff in there and I thought, damn, I don’t have to worry about that,” Moretti said.
The initial forecast called for the Pea River to crest at 40 feet, which would have touched the base of the bridge. But nature decided to take a different course and washed away those worries.
“I am very surprised and very elated. It opens up the world, it’s a blessing. I’m elated about it. I know the people of Elba are,” said Elba Mayor Mickey Murdock.
The town experienced major floods in 1929, three times in the 1990s and December 2015. The 1929 flood nearly destroyed the town. Levees were built afterwards.
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