By Trent Moore
The Cullman Times
Cold, wet weather on Tuesday delayed classes in the Cullman County school system and briefly flooded the basement-level Cullman County Emergency Management Agency office. The county remained under a flood watch and hazardous weather outlook for much of the day.
The staff of the Cullman Emergency Management Agency was greeted by indoor flooding at its headquarters on Beech Avenue early Tuesday. But, according to county commission chairman Kenneth Walker, EMA director Phyllis Little found the mess in time to prevent major damage.
“I don’t think we had any water damage,” Walker said. “We caught it pretty early this morning. They’re still able to operate out of there.”
The weather also gave students a little extra time to sleep in Tuesday morning, as county schools superintendent Billy Coleman had planned to start school as scheduled after testing the roads in the wee hours of Tuesday morning — but decided to delay as temperatures hovered around freezing.
“We got out and checked the roads early and they were okay, wet, but okay,” Coleman said. “But then the temperature started to drop a little more and we were worried it could freeze over. So we made this decision for the safety of our students.”
With the chance of rain dipping to around 40 percent, and temperatures expected to creep back up into the mid-40s today, Coleman said he does not anticipate delaying classes again. But that could always change.
“We didn’t anticipate a delay [Tuesday], and felt the forecast said it’d warm a little overnight, but we see how that went,” Coleman said. “We don’t anticipate a delay, but it’s something we’ll definitely look at. Any little change could be significant. We’re hoping we don’t have to delay, but we’ll be keeping an eye on it overnight.”
Though temperatures are expected to tick up today, a dip on Thursday could potentially lead to light snowfall across Cullman County. With a high near 41 degrees, the National Weather Service predicts a 50 percent chance of rain or snow.
With the ground so saturated, Cullman County Emergency Management Agency (EMA) officials encouraged caution for anyone driving this week, especially in low-lying areas.
The rain is not expected to clear until this weekend, with sunny skies and temperatures in the low-to-mid-50s.
Trent Moore can be reached by e-mail at email@example.com, or by telephone at 734-2131, ext. 220.