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Pelham safety officials pull off massive rescue effort after torrential rain and flooding

Published: Oct. 7, 2021 at 6:17 AM CDT
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PELHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - The city of Pelham endured a downpour that quickly resulted in flooding throughout the city Wednesday night and into Thursday morning.

According to Pelham safety officials, the rescue effort was enormous and required personnel from across the state and the use of almost all resources available.

According to Pelham Fire Chief Mike Reid, rescue calls began coming in around 8 p.m. Wednesday night. As call volume increased, five areas of command were setup to manage the scope of the situation.

In total the city received 282 calls for service. 82 people were rescued from homes and 15 to 20 people were rescued from vehicles.

15 agencies from around the state and more than 100 personnel were deployed to assist.

12 boats were deployed as well as three Humvees, three high water vehicles and dozens of additional rescue vehicles.

According to Chief Reid, the city received 10 to 13 inches of rain overnight.

Only one injury was reported, a feat officials consider a success considering the circumstances.

“It could have been a lot worse. It’s always bad when property is damaged but we’ll take that over life any day,” said Pat Cheatwood, Pelham Chief of Police.

“We want to tell those that have suffered so much tonight, here in the city of Pelham and in Shelby County, that our hearts go out to you and that we’re thinking of you,” Hub Harvey, Shelby County EMA Director.

Harvey stated that the county plans to have building inspectors out Thursday to identify the extent of the damage.

As of 6 a.m. Thursday morning the EMA director reported trees and power lines still down and urged caution to commuters.

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