At least one child died and two people are missing as heavy rains caused floods across Alabama Wednesday night. Parts of the state received several inches of rainfall in a matter of hours. Rescue workers saved dozens of motorists trapped in their cars, homes, and businesses throughout the state overnight. But many remained stranded.
A toddler died in Arab as raging floodwaters swept away the car she was in. The infant was strapped in her car seat when the car got caught in a flash flood, the Daily Mail reported. Rescue workers are searching for two people that had their car swept away in the storm.
As much as 13 inches of rain fell over parts of Alabama in recent days. And six inches pelted several cities in a few hours on Wednesday, USA Today reported. Meteorologists expect more rain in the coming days, which is hindering rescue operations in parts of Alabama. Rain hit Birmingham, the most populated city in the state, and surrounding areas the hardest.
“I think this is the fastest it’s ever come in without warning,” Alabama resident Diane Jones told WKRG.
The National Weather Service in Birmingham tweeted that a flash flood watch remains in that area until 7 p.m. tonight.
Police and firefighters say continued flooding has kept them from reaching several areas.
“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,” Escambia County Sheriff Heath Jackson told WKRG-TV.
The storms that caused these floods are moving into Georgia and Tennessee, dropping heavy rains and spawing tornados, according to weather reports.
Hurricane Ida Clean Up Could Cost As Much as $100 Million
Alabama is still cleaning up damage from Hurricane Ida as this new batch of flooding hit the state.
Hurricane Ida cut a path of destruction that stretched from the Gulf Coast to the Northeast and killed dozens. The storm made landfall more than a month ago. Damage estimates say it could be one of the costliest storms in years. Current estimates predict clean-up costs could reach nearly $100 million, which will have a major impact on the country’s economy.
“It is rare for a hurricane from the Gulf of Mexico to produce this much damage this far north,” said AccuWeather Founder and CEO Joel Myers. Some of the hardest-hit areas — Louisiana and New York — will bear most of those costs.
If those estimates hold true, Hurricane Ida will be the seventh costliest storm to hit the United States since 2000. Hurricane Katrina, which cost more than $300 million was the most expensive clean-up.
Anyone whose home or business was damaged in the storm can reach out to FEMA to ask for assistance. Visit the agency’s website for more information.