Downtown floods|Burnt Corn Creek overflows
By By Lisa Tindell
and Lydia Grimes
Brewton and East Brewton residents were slogging through creek waters that flooded businesses and closed schools and roads Tuesday.
Weather conditions were expected to improve somewhat, but as Burnt Corn Creek was falling by evening, Murder Creek remained on the rise, officials said.
Escambia County Schools will remain closed today, while Brewton City Schools will open. Both school systems were closed Tuesday.
In East Brewton, Adams said those residents may have to wait longer to get across the Murder Creek bridge.
Adams said the flood gates at Point A at Gantt Lock and Dam near Andalusia were opened early Tuesday morning and remained open Tuesday evening.
Adams said those flood waters continued throughout the afternoon and evening Tuesday and were expected to level off during the day Wednesday.
Adams said even if waters do begin to recede, residents should remain cautious and mindful of barricades posted along city, county and state roads.
Safety has been at the top of the priority list for many departments throughout the county and in the cities involved in the disaster.
Brewton Mayor Ted Jennings urged everyone to be mindful of conditions.
Jennings also said he had received conflicting information concerning the cresting of creeks currently overflowing their banks.
Adams also urged residents to be safe.
State Sen. Marc Keahey, D-Grove Hill, is doing his best to help residents in the affected area with some relief through state offices.
Keahey has asked Gov. Bob Riley and Alabama Department of Emergency Management Director Brock Long to tour the storm damage in the county.
Quick response is needed, Keahey said, since the 10 to 12 inches of rain in the area has caused Escambia County Schools to close along with many county road closures.
Local responders have been a helpful to many residents and businesses in the area, Keahey said.
Keahey noted that the state EMA has already sent 5,000 sandbags to Escambia County and that there are Alabama EMA personnel located in the county to assist the Escambia County EMA director.
City workers were as busy as emergency workers and law enforcement workers in the two communities.
Brewton Public Works director Danny Howard worked closely with other officials during the early morning hours Tuesday assessing the flooding situation in Brewton and East Brewton.
For those who own or operate business in downtown Brewton, the warning of the impending flood was short notice.
McNell said the employees had planned a return trip to the restaurant Tuesday.
Travis Sigler, owner of Ole Willie’s downtown, said the damage may be severe enough to keep their doors closed for the next few weeks.
Downtown attorneys Kirk Garrett and Jim Hart both said they had been able to move files and furniture to higher ground.
Attorney Billy Earl Cook said he was concerned about how his downtown office would look after flood waters recede.
Brewton, East Brewton and Flomaton residents, business owners and officials are all hoping the same as Cook — that the water doesn’t go any farther.
Rain was forecast for the Brewton area at 10 percent for Wednesday and Thursday under partly cloudy skies.
Kerry Whipple Bean contribtued to this story.