Flash floods trap people in homes, vehicles in north Alabama
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — Flash floods trapped people in homes and vehicles in north Alabama on Wednesday, and forecasters said the threat could last another day.
Torrents of rain from a cold front moving through the state caused water to quickly cover roads and low-lying areas near Birmingham. Video and photos showed homes surrounded by water, submerged mailboxes and motorists trapped in cars and trucks.
A mobile home park was evacuated in Brighton because of rising water, and at least two people were rescued in the city, fire officials said. Water from a swollen creek covered tombstones at Brighton Memorial Gardens, frustrating Glenda Phillips, whose husband is buried in the cemetery.
“Every time it rains hard this section right here floods,” Phillips told WTVM-TV. Wiping her face, she said: “I hurt so bad.”
Flooding also was reported in northeast Alabama, where Albertville Fire and Rescue posted a photo of an SUV submerged on a street, the headlights shining though water.
Flash watches and warnings were in effect across the northern third of the state through Thursday night, and the National Weather Service said as much as 3 inches (8 centimeters) of rain already had fallen in central Alabama.
Rainfall totals from 2 to 4 inches (5 to 10 centimeters) were possible, forecasters said, and some storms could have winds as strong as 40 mph (64 kph).
A wreck on a wet road in Decatur killed two people and injured three others Wednesday morning, but police didn’t immediately say if bad weather was suspected as a factor in the crash.
The forecast said rain is likely possible as far south as southern Alabama.
Waves of rain could help improve precipitation deficits that include much of northern Alabama. About 35 percent of the state, including metro Birmingham, is abnormally dry. Some areas, including Huntsville, are in a moderate drought.