Experts and first responders talk about dangers of flood water in Central Alabama

Local News

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — Emergency crews throughout Central Alabama are on stand-by for the possibility of flooding, especially after several areas were hit hard in May.

Black Warrior Keeper Nelson Brooke says it’s important to always turn around and don’t drown, but flood water can carry all kinds of debris like logs and trash.

“Plastic pieces, plastic bags can also fill up critters stomachs,” Brooke said.

Flood waters can have a lot of bacteria and dangerous contaminants as well.

“Oil. Gasoline. And unsanitary sewer overflows and all of the untreated sewage during large drain events. That’s where it can get unpredictable and dangerous,” Brooke said.

He says it’s harmful to both people and the wildlife.

“If it’s up high and muddy, then you could be guaranteed that it’s going to have those unsafe levels of bacteria. But there’s other pollutants you don’t want to come into contact with,” Brooke said.

He says preparing the home for flood waters is tough, which is why he encourages people to leave the area if possible and stack important items in the home as high as possible.

“Get things as high up as possible and try to get it up out of the area that would be flooded,” Brooke said.

First responders say it’s always best to play it safe rather than test the limits of mother nature.

“It doesn’t take a lot of water to move you off the roadway. Because the last thing you want to do in the next 48 hours is become a victim,” Jim Coker with Jefferson County EMA said.

Brooke says if kayakers and anyone wants to get in the creek or river, it’s best to wait 48 hours after the weather event.

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