Many Alabama residents who had been looking forward to a sunny July 4 weekend were in for a rainy surprise.
According to the Gadsden Times, the National Weather Service issued a flash flood warning to residents throughout western Alabama for the holiday. Thunderstorms moved through Madison County and southeastern Limestone County, causing floods to appear suddenly in many areas that saw heavy rainfall.
Clay, Randolph, Marion, Winston, Lamar, Fayette and Walker counties also saw flash flooding over the weekend, WBRC reported. In Birmingham, flooding rains caused multiple streets to close down and apartments in Homewood to evacuate, WVTM reported.
Weather forecasters advised residents to take extreme care while traveling by car, as roads were slow and dangerous. During flash floods, drivers should turn on their headlights, drive slower than normal, and avoid using cruise control, as heavy rainfall often hinders visibility on the roads. Additionally, drivers should never drive on roads that are completely covered in water, as this can do irreparable damage to their vehicles.
For some homeowners, the flash floods were more than a passing annoyance. These floods often result in basement water leaks and floods, the results of which can be disastrous and take tens of thousands of dollars to repair. The National Flood Insurance Program has found that floods average more than $3 billion in claims annually, making them the nation’s No. 1 natural disaster.
Since the rain continued into the evening, this year’s July 4 fireworks, sadly, fizzled out for many hopeful Alabama residents. Luckily, forecasters predict the weather will return to normal throughout early July — meaning there’s still plenty of time for an outdoor barbecue or two.