Alabama authorities reported that at least four people, including one child, lost their lives during the devastating flooding that resulted from heavy rains battering the state as rescuers continue to search and retrieve stranded residents across the region.
Authorities discovered the lifeless bodies of a man and a woman inside an S.U.V. in the Riverchase residential development in Hoover, just south of Birmingham. The area is where lakes were overflowing due to the water that the rain brought, causing the bodies of water to merge, said Mayor Frank V. Brocato on Thursday.
Alabama Flash Flood
The official reported that the two victims were believed to have been driving down a hill when they encountered the flooding that overran Riverchase Parkway West. Brocato noted that the couple most likely did not see that there was so much water coming their way that was able to sweep away their car.
On Thursday, the couple was identified as Latin Marie Hill and Myles Jared Butler, who were both 23 years old, Shelby County Coroner Lina Evans said. The official noted that the floodwater was so deep that it carried the victims' vehicle over some guardrails and into a swollen creek before it was flipped upside down, the New York Times reported.
Authorities revealed that the child that died was only four years old and was in Arab, about 25 miles south of Huntsville during the incident. The last victim was a teenager whose body was found on Thursday morning on a road in the nearby Union Grove area.
The child, on the other hand, was reportedly swept away by floodwater while inside a vehicle. Marshall County residents were urged by emergency officials to avoid traveling to keep themselves safe as several roads were closed or damaged in the western parts of the region.
Overnight, rescuers worked tirelessly when they discovered the bodies of the couple inside the S.U.V. During the time that the car was swept by floodwater, first responders were addressing other calls in the area, said Hoover Fire Department Division Chief Duane Prater during a Thursday news briefing, The Weather Channel reported.
Water Rescue Operations
In a Facebook post, the Hoover Fire Department said that the city observed an "unprecedented intense rainfall" that was responsible for causing the devastating flash flood in various areas. The department's statement added that many of the affected regions have not seen flash flooding in the last two decades.
The incident forced authorities to immediately deploy numerous water rescue operations and was able to save people trapped inside stranded vehicles in the area with no injuries. The Birmingham Fire and Rescue Battalion conducted 26 water rescues and successfully retrieved residents who were stranded inside their cars due to the floodwater, said Chief Sebastian Carrillo.
It was also reported that between four and 1- inches of rain fell in the city on Wednesday night, further endangering the lives of many residents. Gov. Kay Ivey posted on Twitter on Thursday that many parts of Alabama have suffered heavy rains and flash floods that created dangerous situations for many residents, CBS News reported.