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The National Weather Service says we can expect additional rainfall at least through Wednesday. A cold front responsible for the wave of rain and storms will become stationary today. A flash flood watch is now in effect for 18 counties in east central Alabama and west central Alabama. Forecasters say an average of three inches of rain has already fallen and another one to two of rain is possible today and may lead to areas of flooding. Motorists are advised to slow down, standing water on roadways could cause hydroplaning, also never drive across a flooded road.
State environmental officials are investigating the recent release of industrial sludge into two Opelika waterways. Alabama Department of Environmental Management spokesman Scott Hughes says the agency received a call Friday from the city of Opelika regarding some material that had been found in the Pepperell Branch and Saugahatchee Creek. Hughes tells the Opelika-Auburn News that the release likely started sometime Thursday afternoon. He said the release had been stopped and water samples have been collected for testing.
Disaster Loan Applications
The Small Business Administration says March 11th is the deadline for disaster loan applications from people and buinesses in 10 Alabama counties and three Mississippi counties affected by severe storms on Christmas Day. SBA field director Frank Skaggs said low-interest loans of up to $200,000 are available to homeowners to repair or replace damaged or destroyed real estate. Montgomery, Barbour, Bullock, Crenshaw, Pike and among the 10 counties covered by the loan program.
A north Alabama lawmaker is suggesting possible legislation that he said would streamline the state's election process by eliminating some party primary runoffs. Republican state Representative Mike Ball of Madison said the primary runoffs are costly and could cause a district to go through most of a legislative session without representation. Ball said he's researching the idea and hopes to file a bill by the end of March to discontinue most primary runoffs. Ball said Alabama is one of only a few states that still hold primary runoffs.