At least four people were killed in heavy rainfall that inundated parts of Alabama on Wednesday, as flash floods closed roads, swamped homes and prompted dozens of water rescues, authorities said.
Flash flooding was blamed for the death of a 4-year-old child in Arab, about 65 miles north of Birmingham, the Marshall County Coroner’s Office said early on Thursday.
Three more people were found dead in two cars washed off the roads into creeks in the hard hit areas of Marshall and Hoover counties, the news site AL.com reported.
About 20 people were rescued from vehicles and more than 80 were rescued from flooding homes, officials said.
The U.S. National Weather Service (NWS) issued a flash flood emergency late Wednesday for Shelby and Jefferson counties in Alabama, where weather stations recorded 5-10 inches of rain in a day.
“While heavy rainfall has ended at this time, runoff is resulting in continued significant flooding w/ major impacts. Elsewhere, areas of rain continue into the night,” the NWS said in a tweet early Thursday.
Birmingham receives an average of about 3.34 inches of rain in October, according to CNN, which means some areas received around double the precipitation they normally receive in an entire month.
“We’ve had numerous water rescues, people trapped in cars and rescued by fire departments and police departments, and we’ve had damage reports of trees on houses and trees on roadways, and it’s really across the entire Birmingham metro area,” Jefferson County Emergency Management Agency Director Jim Coker told CNN.
(Reporting by Aakriti Bhalla in Bengaluru, Peter Szekely in New York and Rich McKay in Atlanta;Editing by Toby Chopra, Mark Heinrich and Aurora Ellis)