A Wednesday morning storm system that may have dumped up to 4 inches of rain on some areas of the Shoals prompted flash flooding, and caused a power outage affecting up to 12,000 people.

With that behind us, it's back to Southern summer humidity with today's forecast calling for the return of triple-digit heat index values.

Dan Dixon, meteorologist for the National Weather Service office in Huntsville, said the official observation station at Northwest Alabama Regional Airport in Muscle Shoals recorded 2.18 inches of rainfall associated with the morning storms.

"The official amount is 2.18, but you can probably say some places got between 3 and 4 inches, based on radar estimates," Dixon said. "A large part of southern Lauderdale County and northern Colbert County on either side of the Tennessee River could have gotten between 3 and 4 inches."

Dixon said the area on Wednesday still had an abundance of tropical moisture in place that had been pulled up from the remnants of tropical storm Barry, and that helped set off the deluge of rainfall.

The Shoals now has had 41.65 inches of rainfall thus far in 2019, which is some 11 inches above normal, according to weather service data. Those numbers do not include any rainfall that occurred in the late afternoon and evening on Wednesday.

Normal annual rainfall for an entire year in the Shoals is 53.2 inches, according to the data.

Wednesday morning's system caused power outages that affected 10,000 to 12,000 customers in Lauderdale County, Florence Electricity Department Manager Richard Morrissey said.

Morrissey said the Oakland substation went out around 5:50 a.m. after being struck by lightning. Power was restored by 7:25 a.m.

"We had a very, very high level of fault current that can really only occur if you have a direct short at the substation," he said.

That impacted some 8,000 to 10,000 customers, he said.

Downtown areas in Florence were impacted by a 6:30 a.m. outage. Power was restored at approximately 7:15 a.m.

A wire or pole that fell on a Tennessee Valley Authority line that comes across the Tennessee River was the cause of that outage.

Sheffield Utilities General Manager Steve Hargrove said its system only incurred a few individual outages. Officials with Tuscumbia Utilities reported the same thing. Power was restored soon in those cases.

Lauderdale EMA Deputy Director Tim Greer said downed trees were reported near Happy Hollow Market at Lauderdale 47 and 94; at Lauderdale 27; near the intersection of Lauderdale 94 and 344; and near the intersection of Lauderdale 7 and 639.

Colbert County Emergency Management Agency Director Michael Smith said some flooding was reported along Woodward Avenue and a few other locations, and a tree was downed in the Rose Trail community.

Today's forecast includes dangerous heat index values that could reach close to 106 degrees with rain chances in the 10 to 30 percent range through Saturday.

"We transition into the typical summer hot, humid pattern with scattered showers and thunderstorms," Dixon said. "That's going to continue into the next few days."

bernie.delinski@timesdaily.com or 256-740-5739. Twitter @TD_BDelinski


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