A massive amount of rain in north Alabama the second week of February 2020 is now causing river levels in south Alabama to surge. One of those rivers is the Tensaw River in Baldwin County which is pouring out of its banks. Many who live along the river have rarely, if ever seen water so high.
“This is going to be the highest one since I’ve been here,” said Oscar Waters.
Waters owns Upper Bryant’s Landing and has lived on the river for 23 years. He said high water isn’t unusual. What is unusual is the amount of water coming downriver this time. With more than a week to prepare, this flood event has been more of an inconvenience than anything.
“The campground…have to totally vacate. They have to leave. It’s underwater, But the rest of it’s out,” Waters explained. “There’s only two permanent residents that live down the lake and they commute back and forth.”
They do so by boat, which they tie up at the store and then go by car from there. The exposed tops of street signs are the only evidence that there’s even a road below.
As the water flows south, Lower Bryant’s Landing has been cut in half by the river, covering the boat launch and forcing property owners to move their boats and vehicles to higher ground. Continuing downriver, aside from the floating docks, Live Oak Landing is completely underwater. The county has closed the road to the boat launch there. The parking lot and pier at Cliff’s Landing off County Road 7 is also submerged and won’t start receding until after the expected crest on Friday, February 21, 2020.
“Previously, the highest one I’ve had here was right at 14 – two (14 feet – 2 inches) and they’re predicting 16 – two (16 feet – 2 inches),” Waters said of the National Weather Service reports.
The record flood level for our area was set in 1961 when the flood stage at Barry Steam Plant reached 18. 2 ft.