Elba residents offer different perspectives on flooding danger


ELBA, Ala. (WDHN) —As if COVID-19 and Hurricane Sally weren’t enough, Adela Duncan is being forced to leave her home.

“We rented the U-haul yesterday morning,” she said. “Then we started packing when we got home.”

Adela’s house is flanked by water both behind and in front of her home. In just a few short hours, everything will be submerged.

“When it comes out, you don’t have a matter, let’s say, two hours, to get out,” she said. “It will get right there, and even with your car doors, you don’t have time to play around.”

Adela planned to leave her home behind for the third time because of flooding. She said it doesn’t get any easier.

“Usually, they’ll send someone to say we have to evacuate right now, and then we will,” she said.

But as Adela prepares to move as many of her belongings as possible, a downtown business owner said she won’t be moving a single thing.

“In town, we’re safe,” said Debbie Jared, co-owner of the Rabbit Hole. “I can lay my head down knowing these businesses in town will not flood.”

Debbie’s faith is placed in Elba’s recently renovated levee, but that faith didn’t come easily.

“In 2015, we emptied everything because I didn’t know,” she said. “We had been through the 94 and the 90 flood.”

But Debbie said her fears went away after the levee held in 2015. That’s why she’s confident the levee will hold this time.

“I’m not scared to death,” she said. “I’m not. I trust that levee. I trust that they did it correctly. I trust that our city is maintaining it correctly.”

Two residents, two very different outlooks about this flood of 2020.

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