As of Thursday morning, the office had not publicly identified either flooding victim.
The storm system drifted in from the west early in the week and spawned sluggish thunderstorms, some of which eventually migrated into the state’s north and central regions, where they lingered for several hours, doing the most damage, said Chris Darden, a National Weather Service meteorologist in Birmingham.
Although bands of heavy rain had fallen across the state since Saturday, the height of the flooding was Wednesday night from about 7 to 10 p.m. The cities most affected were Pelham, Helena and Hoover, in Shelby County, south of Birmingham, where as much as 10 inches of rain had accumulated within 24 hours.
Up to four inches of rain was expected on Thursday to drench areas already saturated, adding to the risk of flash flooding, the Weather Service in Birmingham said. But the rains are forecast to taper off by Thursday night.
Rescuers waded through chest-deep water to reach people stranded in their cars. Mr. Brocato said that in Hoover, a woman had been rescued from the roof of her car, which had been pinned by water against a dam, teetering over a 30-foot embankment. Another woman escaped her vehicle after she had apparently tried to drive through a flooded street, he said.
In Pelham, about 20 miles south of Birmingham, firefighters rescued 82 people from their homes and up to 20 from vehicles, the Fire Department said on Thursday.
“Water was coming in the car so fast I had to bail out the window,” said Jill Caskey, who watched as a tow truck hauled away her vehicle from a parking lot in Pelham, The Associated Press reported. The car stalled as she was trying to navigate floodwaters, it said.
Birmingham Fire and Rescue Service made 16 water rescues, local news media reported.
Rescuers continued to search on Thursday. In Marshall County, they combed creeks in case vehicles were swept downstream, said Anita McBurnett, director of the county’s Emergency Management Agency. They left behind their boats and went out on foot instead, trudging along banks where waters had receded.
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