Crash, "likely" due to storm, kills 10 in Alabama

Henrietta Brewer
June 21, 2021

A tropical cyclone claudette claimed that 12 people were killed in Alabama as a storm struck the southeastern United States, spurring flash floods and tornadoes and destroying dozens of homes.

Nine children and one adult were killed in an accident on Interstate 65 in Butler County, Alabama, on Saturday, according to Butler County Coroner Wayne Garlock. Butler County Sheriff Danny Bond said multiple people were also injured.

On Saturday and Saturday night, the system's heavy rain also caused flooding in parts of central and northern Alabama, including around Tuscaloosa.

Following the rescue, the Tuscaloosa County Emergency Management Agency took to social media to announce that Red Cross volunteers were on hand to help anyone affected.

However, Claudette is forecast to become a tropical storm again when it moves across the Carolinas on Sunday night or early Monday.


"A turn toward the east-northeast is expected tonight and Sunday", NHC forecaster Jack Beven said.

A tropical storm watch has been issued for areas of SC, from South Santee River to Little River Inlet, which could see worsening conditions late Sunday or early Monday.

The system was located about 25 miles west of Atlanta.

Sheriff Heath Jackson estimated that at least 50 homes had been "pretty much" demolished by the storm, which also toppled trees onto houses and ripped the roof off a nearby school gym. Most of the damage occurred in or near the towns of Bruton and East Bruton, about 48 miles (77 km) north of Pensacola, Florida.

"It was kind of influenced", Jackson said.


Along the coast, Claudette produced a storm surge of two to three feet above normally dry land from southeastern Louisiana to the Florida Panhandle, resulting in areas of inundation.

Damage from the storm was also felt in north Florida, where winds - in some cases reaching 85 miles per hour (137 kph) - caused an 18-wheeler to flip on its side.

The storm also rained floods north of Lake Pontchartrain, Louisiana, and along the MS coast, flooding the streets and, in some areas, pushing water into homes. Later, the storm was drenching the Florida Panhandle and, well inland, a broad expanse of Alabama.

Separately, the tropical cyclone Dolores landed on the west coast of Mexico with forces close to a hurricane. As of Sunday morning, it had dissipated over Mexico.

Heavy rainfall of 6 to 10 inches (about 15 to 25 centimeters) was expected throughout the weekend in the southwestern and western coastal areas of Mexico.


The storm is packing the potential for isolated tornadoes, flash flooding and gusty winds.

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