Chipola River Reaches Flood Stage; Flood Warning In Effect For J - WMBB News 13 - The Panhandle's News Leader

Chipola River Reaches Flood Stage; Flood Warning In Effect For Jackson County

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Recent rainfall around our area and north of us in Alabama is causing a river in Jackson county to rise a little bit each day.

Now...levels of the Chipola River got so high, Jackson county is under a Flood Warning.

Chris Tindall calls himself a river rat.

"We pretty much go to high ground, you know pull everything out of the water and find the highest piece of dirt and climb on it," said Tindall. 

When the Chipola River in his backyard starts rising, Tindall said he can be ready for a flood within two hours. 

Living on the river has become a lifestyle for Tindall.

"You know the house is on stilts, I have some high ground to put stuff on, trailers to pull stuff out," said Tindall. 

So when water levels reached the flood stage Thursday, Tindall wasn't concerned, he was just going with the flow. 

"I'm thinking the catfish are starting to bite right now," said Tindall. "The fishing's been bad, so this is perfect."

To see the Chipola River rise like this isn't unusual.

Every year we have this type of flooding, " said Emergency Management Director Rodney Andreasen. "I mean the waters come in, it's just a typical pattern."

Andreasen says the pattern just started a little bit earlier than normal this year. 

However, how quickly the river rose between Wednesday and Thursday night did come as a surprise.

Overnight, the Chipola River rose four and half feet in about 12 hours. 

Andreasen says this is a good example of how unpredictable the river can be and why those who live right next to it should just keep a watchful eye.

Andreasen says many other flooded areas will look tempting to splash around in, but it's extremely important to stay grounded.

"This is February. It's warming up a little bit, however, the temperature outside is chilly and the water is even chillier," said Andreasen. "And hypothermia doesn't take much."

The river is expected to crest Saturday morning at 20.5 feet...meaning it's not expected to rise past that and should start receding.