By Marla Jones, Managing Editor • firstname.lastname@example.org (Photo by hikingtheappalachians.com)
GROVE OAK, Ala. — At approximately 1:45 pm on Sunday, February 16, the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency (ALEA) was notified by officials at Buck’s Pocket State Park that search crews had located a missing vehicle that went off into South Sauty Creek.
According to senior trooper Chuck Daniels of the ALEA, at 2:30 pm, a diver confirmed that the missing motorist was also with the vehicle. At 4:22 pm, the body of Raymond Edwards, 82 of Scottsboro, was recovered.
Edwards went missing on February 5 after high floodwaters swept away his vehicle on the bridge at Buck’s Pocket.
Following Edwards’ disappearance last week, the DeKalb County Commission began steps toward building gates at the bridge. District 2 Commissioner Scot Westbrook noted the importance of the gates, given that two fatalities have occurred in this location within the last 12 months.
“I know for a fact that we are going to put some gates up on the DeKalb County side, that should hopefully deter drivers from trying to cross that bridge when it has water on top of it,” said Westbrook. “It is my understanding that Jackson County is also considering something along those lines.”
Westbrook emphasized the danger of standing water on roads, reiterating the well-known saying, “turn around, don’t drown.”
As a result of the flooding across the state, on Tuesday, Governor Kay Ivey declared a state of emergency. Ivey also activated the Alabama Emergency Management Agency State Emergency Operations Center and impacted or potentially impacted Alabama Emergency Management Divisions.