It’s hard to have a festival when the host site is nearly four inches underwater. After starting with a short day Sunday, the Sweet Tater Festival in Crane Hill was canceled Monday due to flash flooding caused by Tropical Storm Lee.

“The park is more than three inches under water, so we can’t go,” organizer Tony Leonardi said. “The folks who really follow us came out Sunday, and everyone had a really good time, but that will have to be it.”

The remnants of Tropical Storm Lee dumped rain non-stop throughout the south, with Cullman County locked under a flash flood warning for virtually all of Monday. The National Weather Service reported an average of 3-4 inches of rain around Cullman County, though some areas received up to 5-6 inches.

Cullman County Emergency Management Agency Director Phyllis Little said flooding reports filtered into her office throughout the day.

“We have had a couple of reports of flash flooding in town, but nothing really serious,” she said. “I do understand some people have had water in their basements, but outside of that it has just been a few calls.”

There were no major incidents reported as far as road blockage or damage, though scattered reports of downed trees and standing water on highways caused some problems across the area.

The rain could linger further into this week, as what’s left of Tropical Storm Lee slowly drags across the region.

“We’re basically seeing widespread rain develop over the area, as the remnants of what was once Tropical Storm Lee move to the east along the Gulf Coast,” NWS forecaster Dan Dixon said. “That heavy rainfall is expected to continue and there is a lot more coming up from the south right now. We think the heaviest rain will end [early Tuesday morning], but we could still see some scattered showers lingering through the end of the week.”

* Trent Moore can be reached by e-mail at, or by telephone at 734-2131, ext. 220.

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