Alabama swamped, child died in floods from slow-moving front

Parts of Alabama remain under a flash flood watch after a day of high water across the state, with as much as 6 inches of rain covering roads and trapping people

Via AP news wire
Thursday 07 October 2021 16:25
US Flash Flooding Southeast
US Flash Flooding Southeast

Flash flood warnings were in effect Thursday for a swath of the southeastern U.S. after a stalled weather front drenched Alabama leaving high water that covered roads, swamped a Piggly Wiggly, unleashed sewage and forced water rescues. A child's death was blamed on the floods.

As much as 6 inches (15 centimeters) of rain fell in about a day as the low-pressure system lingered over Alabama and the Florida Panhandle. The forecast called for particularly intense rain Thursday in parts of metro Birmingham which were under a flash flood watch, but meteorologists predicted another wet day for most of the state and parts of Florida.

The Marshall County coroner’s office tweeted early Thursday that a child died as a result of the flash flooding in Arab, in northeast Alabama.

The rain caused havoc in places across north Alabama, submerging cars in metro Birmingham and parts of the Tennessee Valley. Rescue crews helped motorists escape as low visibility and standing water made travel life-threatening in some areas.

In Pelham outside Birmingham, 82 people were rescued from homes and more than 15 were pulled from vehicles after up to 13 inches of rain sent creeks and streams overflowing their banks, the Pelham Fire Department said early Thursday. More than 100 rescuers were involved in the effort, as were 16 boats, the statement said.

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

As much as 3 feet (1 meter) of water was inside the community's main grocery store, Piggly Wiggly, and two schools had to cancel classes, said Escambia Sheriff Heath Jackson.

“We’re hoping that the rain is going to stop so we can get some of this water ... out of here and we can start getting into these businesses that have taken on water to see what we can do to help them,” Jackson told WKRG-TV.

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

With rainfall totals already ranging from 2 inches (5 centimeters) to as much 6 inches across the state this week, forecasters said another 3 inches (8 centimeters) of rain was possible, with the heaviest rains to the north.

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

Rains should end in Alabama by late Thursday as storms move eastward. Flash flood warnings were in effect through Friday along the weather front, stretching from the Florida Panhandle through northern Georgia and mountainous regions of the eastern Tennessee and the western Carolinas.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged in