Harvey's heavy rains flood Baldwin County roads - FOX10 News | WALA

Harvey's heavy rains flood Baldwin County roads

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As Tropical Storm Harvey made its second landfall in southwest Louisiana overnight Tuesday, August 29, 2017, feeder bands pushed onshore in our area with heavy rains Wednesday morning.  Up to six inches of rain fell in some parts of Baldwin County by mid-morning, causing some road closures and hazardous driving conditions. 

Mannich Lane, east of County Road 49 in Magnolia Springs was washed out and will remain closed until repairs are made.  This part of southern Baldwin County and to the east in Orange Beach took the brunt of the rain.

Mannich Lane looked more like Mannich River Wednesday morning.  County officials said half a foot of rain fell there and in other parts of Baldwin County in just a few hours, overwhelming ditches and drainage systems which backed water up over several roadways.

“It was pretty intense at times and that’s what causes this kind of problem,” said Baldwin County Engineer, Joey Nunnally.  “When these intense rains hit, it overwhelms some of our drainage structures and that’s what’s happened here.”

Heavy and non-stop rain overnight and into the morning hours caused flooding problems all over Orange Beach as well.  Most of it just filled ditches and yards, but some filled roadways.  Perdido Beach Boulevard had a couple problem spots.  One near Highway 161 and the other a bit to the west in front of Summerhouse Condominiums.  At one point, water covered the entire road.

“Traffic along the Beach Highway was rerouted through the retail shops adjacent to Publix in order to access 161 because that was the greatest amount of water, between the Hampton Inn and 161,” said Lt. Steve Brown with Orange Beach Police.

Even a couple hours after the rain subsided, there was still a lot of water on the roads.  Marina Road has several low spots where water covered it.  City officials said the slow runoff is due to higher tides and winds from the south caused by Tropical Storm Harvey.

“The bays and the bayous are backed up so where the water would normally run to is already full of water so it takes time for it to run off,” Brown said.

Water flooded yards and farm fields and spilled over onto County Road 65, south of County Road 12 causing more hazardous driving conditions.  The county had signs posted at each location warning of water over the road, but many drivers seemed to either not see them or ignore them.

“I just ask everybody to use caution when they’re driving after a big rainstorm event like this because we try to stay on top of things and put the signs out, but there may be something out there that we’re not aware of and not have a sign up,” Nunnally said.

Baldwin County officials remind drivers who encounter water ponding on the road to “Turn around.  Don’t drown.”

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