Residents rescued from homes, Lakefest, Munford events cancelled after heavy rains
by Shane Dunaway
An early-morning thunderstorm caused flooding in multiple areas in Talladega and St. Clair counties Saturday.

Torrential rainfall beginning at around 1 a.m. forced area firefighters into action, made more than a dozen roads impassable and resulted in the cancellation of three community events — Pell City’s Third Annual Logan Martin LakeFest and Boat Show, the Munford Car and Tractor Show and the Munford Farmer’s Market.

In St. Clair County, Fox Hollow subdivision on Fox Run Circle seemed to be hit the hardest. According to St. Clair County Emergency Management Agency director Ellen Tanner, nine homes in the subdivision were flooded, causing an estimated $200,000 in damages.

“Most of these homes are owned by young couples,” Tanner said. “It’s just heartbreaking what they are going through. Water can ruin just about everything a family has. These families are all working hard right now to salvage what they can. We will stay in touch with them daily to determine their needs.”

The Pell City Community Center on 19th Street was also flooded.

The Talladega Fire Department responded to multiple emergencies, evacuating a woman, child and four blind people from houses on Coffee Street.

After the rescue, the firefighters took the evacuees back to the fire station and gave them some blankets to keep warm.

“When we arrived on the scene, the water was steadily rising into the houses,” Capt. Ronny Davis said. “We started waking people up and evacuating them from the houses as quick as possible. In the second and third homes, the blind evacuees were unaware of the water level rising. Inside the third house, the water had gotten as high as 3 feet.”

On West, East and Court streets, Talladega firefighters used a boat to evacuate eight people, several of whom were stranded motorists.

A stranded motorist whose vehicle was swept off the road by flood waters was also rescued near the National Guard Armory on Broadway Avenue.

Firefighters assisted at the scene of a motor vehicle accident at the corner of Jemison and 19th streets, rescuing a motorist from a vehicle turned on its side.

Residents in a house on Cherry Street and a house at West and Coosa streets were evacuated due to gas leaks caused by rising water levels.

Firefighters continued their work on Coosa Street by rescuing another stranded motorist.

The department received two calls regarding downed trees, one at Mountain View Road and one at Wall Street.

The downed tree at Wallace Street brought down some power lines, catching the tree on fire. Firefighters secured the area while workers from Alabama Power responded to the downed lines.

As of 2 p.m. Saturday, Tanner said U.S. 78 from Eden to Interstate 20, U.S. 174 from Odenville to Mt. Moriah Road in Pell City, Mineral Springs Road in Pell City and Cook Springs Cut-Off Road between Mountain Top Loop and Wolf Creek Road remained impassable in the St. Clair County area.

In Talladega County, Scott Murphree, alert notification manager for the Emergency Management Agency, confirmed a section of Alabama 21 in Munford and sections of Eastaboga Road, Brickstore Road, and Curry Station Road near Choccolocco Creek were closed.

Murphree recommended the public remain watchful of the weather due to potential for more rain occurring Saturday and during the day today.

“Due to the vast amount of rain that fell this morning, we would like to advise citizens that live along waterways, creeks and rivers to pay close attention to water levels as they may continue to rise,” Murphree said. “Also, roadways along waterways, creeks and rivers may become impassable. If you leave your home, please do not drive through standing water or go around barriers.”

No significant incidents were reported in Sylacauga or Childersburg.

© 2013