Flash Flooding Swamps Metro Birmingham After Heavy Rains

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — Heavy rains left parts of central Alabama under water early Wednesday, with flash flooding stranding vehicles, swamping roads and parking lots and prompting rescues in some areas.

Many streets were covered in Jefferson and Shelby counties after storms passed, the National Weather Service and police said, and some trees fell in Homewood.

No major power outages were reported, but some roads were flooded during rush hour traffic after as much as 4 inches (10.16 centimeters) of rain fell north of Birmingham.

As much as 3 inches (7.62 centimeters) of precipitation was reported in the metro area, and Birmingham firefighters rescued more than three dozen people from flooded buildings and vehicles. In a statement, the city said the heavy rains “overwhelmed” drainage systems.

In Sylacauga, located about 50 miles (80 kilometers) southeast of Birmingham, floodwaters surrounded homes and businesses, some of which were inundated. Low-lying areas also flooded in Leeds, located east of Birmingham.

The weather service said additional rain was possible and issued a flash flood for much of central Alabama, and some areas were under a flood warning.

Additional storms with high winds and large hail were possible during the day, forecasters said.