Rescuers Suspend Search for Man Who Vanished in Floodwaters in Tuscaloosa, Alabama
Rescue crews in Tuscaloosa have suspended the search for a man who vanished into extreme floodwaters off Greensboro Avenue Saturday and will pick back up Sunday morning.
Stephanie Taylor, a spokeswoman for the Tuscaloosa Police Department, said officers were called to several locations in the city Saturday to assist stranded motorists who underestimated the seriousness of flash flooding in the area.
The areas of greatest concern were on and around the University of Alabama campus and around 15th Street, Taylor said, where several roads were made completely impassable by floodwaters.
Taylor said the department aided multiple drivers who climbed from the windows of vehicles that stalled out on heavily flooded roads.
The most serious situation Saturday night was near the intersection of Hargrove Road and Greensboro Avenue, where Taylor said an SUV was swept off the road and wedged in a tunnel that runs under the street.
She said TPD was called to the Bonita Terrace area just after 2 p.m., where a witness told officers that he saw the vehicle get stuck in the drainage tunnel and watched a man disappear under the floodwaters and never resurface.
Taylor said the victim was a 40-year-old man, who was still missing at 7:45 Saturday night.
The search for the missing motorist is being conducted by the Tuscaloosa Fire Rescue Service’s Swift Water Rescue team, who canvassed the area for several hours before suspending the operation until Sunday morning.
Any further updates on the situation will come from TFR, Taylor said.
The heavy rain and flash flooding led to a chaotic day across the city, and Taylor said TPD received nearly twice the number of calls for service than they fielded last Saturday during the Alabama Crimson Tide's first home football game.
"We urge motorists to continue to exercise caution and not underestimate the force and power of water," Taylor said. "Just 12 inches of rushing water can displace most cars, and two feet of water can carry away SUVs and trucks."