LIVE STORM UPDATES: Localized flooding in Calhoun, Cleburne counties; more storms still to come

Tim Lockette, The Anniston Star, Ala.
·3 min read

May 4—4:45 p.m. The National Weather Service has lowered the risk of severe weather across northern central Alabama, from "enhanced" (risk level 3) to "slight" (risk level 2).

4 p.m. Calhoun County remains under a flood warning, and reports are emerging of flooding in various locations around the county.

Calhoun County Emergency Management Agency spokeswoman Tiffany DeBoer said the agency has received reports of cars half-submerged due to flooding in the Post Oak Road area of Alexandria, along with reports of flooding in Saks and in Anniston near Noble and Fifth streets.

Forecasters have said the day's biggest severe weather threat is yet to come, with a line of severe storms set to arrive in the Anniston area later this evening.

3 p.m. Calhoun County is under a Flood Warning until 8 p.m., according to the Calhoun County EMA. There are several flooded roadways, and more rain is expected.

There are reports of localized flooding in Cleburne County. U.S. 78 in Heflin was closed due to flooding at Osborne Street and Fern Street.

"The main severe threat HAS NOT arrived yet. Storms developing in Mississippi will bring a significant damaging wind threat, as well as possible tornadoes & large hail, to Central Alabama later today," the NWS warned.

2 p.m. The tornado warning for Cleburne County has expired. Shortly before 2 p.m., the National Weather Service issued a flash flood warning for Calhoun County until 2 p.m.

There were no reports of damage from the possible Cleburne County tornado as of 1:50 p.m., local emergency management officials said, although there were reports of localized flooding.

1:45 p.m. A storm system capable of producing a tornado was identified near Abernathy, close to Heflin in Cleburne County, at 1:37 p.m. according to the National Weather Service. The storm was moving east at 30 mph.

1 p.m. Much of Calhoun County and northern Talladega County are under a severe thunderstorm warning until 2 p.m., the National Weather Service announced at 1 p.m. The storm which has already reached parts of Anniston, is capable of producing quarter-sized hail and 60 mph winds, according to the weather services. Areas affected now include not only the Anniston and Oxford areas but also Piedmont, Jacksonville and Weaver.

12:18 p.m.: Northern Talladega County and western Calhoun County are under a severe thunderstorm warning until 1 p.m., according to the National Weather Service. Affected areas include Anniston, Oxford, Saks, Blue Mountain and Hobson City.

Noon: Calhoun, Cleburne and Talladega counties are among multiple Alabama counties under a tornado watch until 4 p.m., the National Weather Service announced Tuesday morning.

Calhoun County Schools will close its schools at 2 p.m. due to inclement weather, the school system announced via Facebook.

Anniston City Schools will also close at 2 p.m., and Jacksonville Christian Academy and Sacred Heart of Jesus School will dismiss early, according to a press release from the Calhoun County Emergency Management Agency.

Anniston city offices will close at 2 p.m., city spokesman Jackson Hodges announced at noon. The city council meeting originally scheduled for Tuesday has been moved to Wednesday at 12:30 p.m.

Forecasters say the area can expect two waves of storms today — one this morning, with some chance of high winds or a tornado, and a more severe round this afternoon.

"A pretty large line of storms is expected to form with the potential for damaging winds," said National Weather Service forecaster Gary Goggins. "There may be some tornadoes embedded along this line."

Goggins said that line of storms is expected to reach the Anniston area between 6 p.m. and 8 p.m.

This story will be updated.

Capitol & statewide reporter Tim Lockette: 256-294-4193. On Twitter @TLockette_Star.