Alabama flooded, child died in slow front flooding


PELHAM, Alabama (AP) – Flash flood warnings were in effect Thursday for part of the southeastern United States after a stalled weather front inundated Alabama, leaving high waters that blanketed the roads, flooded a Piggly Wiggly store, released sewage and forced water rescues. The death of a child was blamed on the floods.

Parts of central Alabama received up to 13 inches (33 centimeters) of rain as the low pressure system lingered over Alabama and the Florida Panhandle, the National Weather Service said.

The forecast called for particularly heavy rains on Thursday in parts of the Birmingham Underground, which were under flash flood watch, but meteorologists predicted another rainy day for most of the state and parts of Florida. Up to 13 centimeters of additional rain was possible until Thursday evening, the weather service said.

The Marshall County Coroner’s Office tweeted early Thursday that a child had died from flash flooding in Arab, northeast Alabama.

The rain has wreaked havoc in parts of northern Alabama, submerging cars in the Birmingham subway and parts of the Tennessee Valley. Rescue teams helped motorists escape as low visibility and standing water put their lives at risk in some areas.

In Pelham, outside Birmingham, 82 people were rescued from their homes and more than 15 were removed from vehicles after up to 13 inches of rain overflowed streams and streams, the service said on Thursday Pelham Fire Department. More than 100 rescuers were involved in the effort, as well as 16 boats, according to the statement.

“The water was coming into the car so quickly that I had to jump out the window,” said Jill Caskey, who watched a tow truck on Thursday morning haul her sport utility vehicle from a low parking lot in Pelham. The car stalled as it attempted to navigate the flood waters during the flood on Wednesday night.

A police officer helped her up to the heights, and Caskey’s husband picked her up from the side of the road. But it then took them three hours to walk a few kilometers home because of the flooded roads.

Caskey said she heard the weather safety mantra “turn around, don’t drown”, but “it really happened so fast I didn’t have time to think about it”.

In southern Alabama, near the Florida Line, streets were covered with water in the flood-prone towns of Escambia County, Brewton and East Brewton, inundating businesses with a shopping center with several feet of water.

Up to three feet of water was inside the community’s main grocery store, Piggly Wiggly, and two schools had to cancel classes, Escambia Sheriff Heath Jackson said.

“We hope the rain will stop so we can get some of that water… from here and we can start going into these businesses that have taken the water to see what we can do to help them. Jackson told WKRG-TV.

To the south, in Baldwin County, up to 250,000 gallons (946,000 liters) of sewage overflowed from sewage systems along Mobile Bay, officials said.

With total precipitation already ranging from 2 inches (5 centimeters) to 6 inches across the state this week, forecasters said an additional 3 inches (8 centimeters) of rain was possible, with the heaviest rains in the north.

Severe storms and a few isolated tornadoes from a slow low pressure system were a threat, mainly in the afternoon, forecasters said. The National Weather Service issued a tornado watch for northeast Alabama, northwest Georgia and southern Tennessee.

Rains are expected to end in Alabama by Thursday evening as the storms move east. Flash flood warnings were in effect through Friday along the weather front, stretching from the Florida panhandle to northern Georgia and the mountainous areas of eastern Tennessee and western Carolinas.

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