Tropical Depression Claudette has taken the lives of 12 people in Alabama as the storm went across the southeastern United States. It caused severe flash flooding and tornadoes that completely destroyed several homes. In a 15-vehicle crash on June 19, ten people were killed along with nine children about 35 miles south of Montgomery on Interstate 65, said the Butler County Coroner Wayne Garlock. He said to the news outlets that two people died separately in a vehicle, both from Marion County.
He further said the vehicles hydroplaned on wet roads, including the eight children aging from 4 years to 17, who died in the van belonging to a youth ranch of Alabama Sheriffs Association for neglected or abused children. Several people got injured. At the same time, a 3-year-old boy and a 24-year-old man were killed by a tree that fell on their house outside the Tuscaloosa city limits, said Capt. Marty Sellers of Tuscaloosa Violent crime unit.
The Drastic Consequences of the Claudette
Around 12 inches or 30 centimeters of rain was witnessed from Claudette along the Mississippi Gulf Coast. The drenching rain pelted Georgia and northern Alabama and caused many deaths on June 19. Flash floods watches were posted on June 20 for northern Georgia, the North Carolina coast, most of the South Carolina, Florida Panhandle, and parts of Southeast Alabama.
In a van, eight children got killed as they were returning to a youth ranch of the Alabama Sheriffs Association. The van caught burnt out from fire after the wreck. The director of Tallapoosa County ranch, Candice Gulley, was rescued and immediately hospitalized in Montgomery. One of the dead children in Gulley’s child, said Michael Smith, CEO of youth ranches.
Garlock said the area of the wreck is very notorious for hydroplaning as the highway of northbound curves down a hill into a small creek. The traffic on the stretch is usually filled with vacationers driving or returning from the Gulf of Mexico beaches. Alabama’s Governor, Kay Ivey, tweeted that it was a sad day for their state.
The tropical depression Claudette brought heavy rain to parts of northern Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana late on June 19. After making landfall, a tornado destroyed and severely damaged almost 50 homes in Escambia County, on the border of Florida. The critical storm was downgraded to a tropical depression. However, the heavy rain will still continue on June 20, and in some areas, there will be flash flooding, as per the forecasters.