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black warrior river, riverwalk flooding

By WVUA 23 Reporter Caroline Wood

Because of the seemingly never-ending rain that has washed over Tuscaloosa County this week, the Black Warrior River has become extremely high, leaving fixtures like light poles and docks submerged in water.

Tuscaloosa Riverwalk goers said the water level has risen tremendously.

“It’s a lot more flooded today than it was before,” said Tuscaloosa resident Rick Roberts. “Like, the bottom part was kind of flooded, but now it’s like it’s all the way up on the light poles. It’s quite a bit different.”

Not only are the water levels high, but the water color is changing, too. Officials said this is due to sediment and heavy rain.

“You see evidence of that in the Black Warrior River, right, it’s sort of gone a chocolate milky color,” said UA associate professor of geology Lisa Davis. “And that’s the sediment that’s been activated from the bed of the river system, but also from the river banks and contributaries that are delivering water and sediment to the river, the Black Warrior.”

Officials also said Tuscaloosa waterways are having a difficult time processing the heavy volume of water that is coming through, which causes the levels to rise.

“So that amount of water is getting routed across our roadways and into our storm drainage systems then down to our river bodies, which are now working hard to funnel that water,” Davis said.

West and Central Alabama have received 5 to 7 inches of rain over the past few days. The rain is expected to continue through Wednesday, then drier days are ahead.

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