This past weekend, states along the Gulf Coast got hit with historic proportions of rainfall, turning roadways, parking lots, and other areas of transit into accidental lakes and waterways. On Sunday alone, Mobile, Alabama experienced a whopping 7.5 inches of rainfall, with no letup in sight.
Historically speaking, this is Mobile’s 10th wettest day since weather record-keeping began in 1871, the Weather Channel’s Kevin Roth reports.
The rain continued into early Monday, forcing many Alabama residents to abandon their flooded cars — turning to boats — in order to escape the quickly flooding streets.
While no injuries have been reported yet, the Republic reports that Mobile’s Fire-Rescue team has been hard at work since the downpours began, rescuing people from cars and buildings.
The pooling water is also creating issues on Mobile’s Interstate 65 and Interstate 10, posing safety threats for drivers on their Monday commute and beyond. And on the University of Alabama’s campus, the flooding resulted in a sinkhole opening up on campus.
While rain is obviously beneficial to crops and wildlife, it can also do extensive damage. Massive amounts of rain on the Gold Coast also means environmental threats due to storm water runoff, introducing pollutants into the water supply, effectively posing threats to marine life in the area.
“Two thirds of all of the state and all the pollution and every flush and every big rain storm and every even that happens upstream happens and impacts us here,” Casi Calloway, the Baykeeper of Mobile, told apr.org.
The National Weather Service predicts that the rains will continue through Thursday, but in the meantime, residents should stay safe, as deluges like this can pose structural threats to cars and property in a big way. In 2013 alone, over 26% of loss claims in the United States were due to water damage.