The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

Breaking News

State and Nation

May 1, 2014

Stories of rescues, devastation emerge from floods

— PENSACOLA, Fla. (AP) — Valencia Norton awoke to a neighbor pounding on the windows of the mobile home she shared with a friend. Water had washed away her steps and part of the porch. She grabbed a small bag of clothes and waited.

"I was freaking," said Norton, tears streaming down her face as she recalled the scene. "I don't know how to swim."

A short time later, a firefighter came by and carried her to dry land. It was one of many rescue stories from the single rainiest day ever recorded in Pensacola, and another tale of survival after days of relentless storms across the U.S., beginning with deadly and destructive tornadoes Sunday in the Midwest.

On Monday, the violent winds wrecked parts of Tennessee and Mississippi, but by the time the storm system arrived in the Panhandle, the devastation was all water.

The system was expected to bring heavy rain and thunderstorms to the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast regions Thursday.

In Florida, people were plucked off rooftops Wednesday or climbed into their attics to get away when nearly 2 feet of rain dropped on the area in the span of about 24 hours. Roads were chewed up into pieces or wiped out entirely and neighborhoods were inundated, making rescues difficult for hundreds of people who called for help when they were caught off guard.

Boats and Humvees zigzagged through the flooded streets to help stranded residents. A car and truck plummeted 25 feet when portions of a scenic highway collapsed, and one Florida woman died when she drove her car into high water, officials said.

Near the Alabama-Florida line, water started creeping into Brandi McCoon's mobile home, so her fiance, Jonathan Brown, wrapped up her nearly 2-year-old son Noah in a blanket and they swam in neck-deep water to their car about 50 feet away.

Text Only
State and Nation
Photos


Poll

Do you believe America will ever make another manned flight to the moon or another planet?

Yes
No
     View Results
Facebook
AP Video
Plane Crashes in Taiwan, Dozens Feared Dead Republicans Hold a Hearing on IRS Lost Emails Raw: Mourners Gather As MH17 Bodies Transported Robot Parking Valet Creates Stress-free Travel Raw: MH17 Bodies Arrive in Netherlands Raw: Fight Breaks Out in Ukraine Parliament Disabled Veterans Memorial Nearing Completion Last Mass Lynching in U.S. Remains Unsolved Home-sharing Programs Help Seniors Ex-NYC Mayor: US Should Allow Flights to Israel Clinton: "AIDS-Free Generation Within Our Reach" Judge Ponders Overturning Colo. Gay Marriage Ban Airlines Halt Travel to Israel Amid Violence VA Nominee McDonald Goes Before Congress US Official: Most Migrant Children to Be Removed Police Probing Brooklyn Bridge Flag Switch CDC Head Concerned About a Post-antibiotic Era Courts Conflicted Over Healthcare Law Raw: Truck, Train Crash Leads to Fireball
Twitter Updates
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Stocks
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Business Marquee