Tropical Storm Claudette: At Least 14 People Reportedly Killed in Alabama

by Halle Ames

This weekend, Tropical Storm Claudette took its toll along the Alabama Gulf Coast, and with it, the lives of at least 14 people. 

On Saturday morning, Tropical Storm Claudette threatened to drench the coast of Mississippi, Alabama, and the Florida Panhandle with heavy rains and “life-threatening” flooding. According to the National Hurricane Center, the storms were projected to continue throughout the weekend. 

Numerous states along the Gulf were under a tropical storm warning, including Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi, and the Florida Panhandle. By the end of Claudette, experts predict nearly a foot of rain throughout the weekend. Furthermore, Louisiana may see as much as 20 inches of rain over the next few days. 

Louisiana’s governor, John Bel Edwards, declared a state of emergency in preparation for Claudette. 

A little before 7 a.m. on Saturday, Claudette made landfalls on the Louisiana shores as a tropical storm. By 7 p.m., the weather system had blown through Mississippi and decreased to the tropical depression. Now, for the rest of the weekend, Claudette will continue its journey through most of Alabama and the northern part of Georgia. 

According to USA Today, the storm reached a maximum wind speed of 45 mph as it moved north at 13 mph. This is the third storm to hit the US in the 2021 season, which began this month. The season ends on Tuesday, November 30.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has predicted that 13 to 20 named storms will develop this season. A tropical storm exhibits winds of 39 mph or higher, while a hurricane is a system that reaches 74 mph or higher. 

Death Toll In Alabama From Claudette

Although Claudette never reached hurricane status, the weather system still caused irreversible damage. At least 14 people have died in Alabama alone from weather-related situations. 

According to Butler County Coroner Wayne Garlock, a car crash from wet road conditions claimed the lives of ten people, nine of those being children, on Saturday. Furthermore, a tree fell on a home in Tuscaloosa, killing two more people, reported local authorities. 

In addition, NBC News notes that another person’s vehicle went off the road and into a flooded creek in Alabama’s DeKalb County. Another person died after falling into flooded waters due to Claudette. 

Other Weather Systems

Currently, the Mapbox hurricane tracker has located Category 1 Hurricane Enrique. The system had a maximum speed of 90 mph. It is in the Pacific, climbing up the Mexico perimeter. Enrique is expected to make landfall near La Paz on July 1 as a tropical depression.

The National Weather Service is also keeping its eyes on two weather formations out in the Atlantic. The tropical systems are currently nothing to worry about at the moment. However, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) encourages residents along the Gulf Coast to download the FEMA mobile