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Floodwater also rushed onto roads, parking lots and yards Wednesday evening in communities in and around Birmingham in central Alabama.
In Hoover just south of Birmingham, two people were missing Thursday after floodwater pushed their vehicle over a guardrail and swept it away as responders watched helplessly Wednesday night, city fire Division Chief Duane Prater said.
The vehicle had entered a flooded area and was soon pinned against a guardrail, Prater said. Fire crews arrived but couldn’t reach the pair because of the water’s speed and the vehicle’s location, he said.
“Within a couple minutes, the rushing water pushed the vehicle over the guardrail and out of sight of the first responders,” Prater said.
The October average for Birmingham is 3.34 inches, meaning portions of the area received significantly more than they normally receive in an entire month.
Water was receding in the Birmingham area Thursday morning, but video from CNN affiliates still showed water lapping at some vehicles’ doors and homes in and around the city before sunrise.
More than 80 rescues from homes in Pelham
Floodwaters also quickly trapped numerous residents and motorists Wednesday night in Pelham, about 20 miles south of Birmingham, the Pelham fire chief said.
Responders in Pelham received more than 280 calls, and made more than 80 rescues from homes and at least 15 from vehicles using boats and other means, Pelham Fire Chief Michael Reid told reporters Thursday morning.
At least one person in Pelham was injured, Reid said without elaborating.
In Pelham, many residents suffered damage to their homes and lost vehicles, Police Chief Pat Cheatwood told reporters Thursday.
A few more inches of rain could fall Thursday, and that could produce more flooding, the weather service said. Flood watches were in effect Thursday morning in parts of Alabama, Tennessee, Georgia and the Florida Panhandle.
Impacts from the flooding that already has happened will be felt over the next several days, said Jim Coker, emergency management director for Jefferson County, which includes Birmingham.
“Crews will be out tomorrow checking damage and checking infrastructure, which is everything from roadways to pipelines to power lines,” he told CNN by phone.
A big concern is the condition of the roadways, Coker said, as workers will want to ensure there aren’t any washed-out areas that could cause traffic problems.
CNN’s Carma Hassan, Kelly McCleary, Michael Guy, Judson Jones and Aya Elamroussi contributed to this report.
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