Alabama students detail flooding woes

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Photo courtesy Taylor Blastow

By WVUA 23 News Reporter Jacyn Abbott

University of Alabama students who stayed in Tuscaloosa last weekend were expecting some downtime, but the weather had other plans.

Saturday, a record amount of rain flooded some areas of West Alabama with nearly 5 inches in a few hours while other areas got an inch and change.

Several areas on and near the UA campus were flooded, causing damage to residents’ homes, cars and yards.

UA student Taylor Blastow said all she could do when she saw the water creep into her house and up her car was wait until the rain stopped and the water level went down.

“About two hours later, I came back when the water was down and my whole house had an inch of water sitting in it,” Blastow said. “My whole room was covered in water. I just had to get everything out and scoop my car out with a cup.”

Blastow and her roommates said dealing with the physical damage to their cars and homes is difficult enough, but insurance makes it even more complicated — and costly.

Renters insurance does not pay for flood damage, meaning anything damaged must be replaced out of pocket, Blastow said, and she’s worried her car will wind up totaled.

Kimberly Campbell, Blastow’s roommate, was out of town when the flooding happened and said she was in shock when she saw a picture taken from the security camera on the front door.

“(Blastow) sent me a screenshot of the area that flooded; the water was up to our door and my car was in the picture,” Campbell said. “The water was covering my wheels. I had no idea it was raining so it was a shock. I was like ‘Oh our house is flooded… great.’ ”

When Campbell got back, she found her car filled with several inches of water. She said she’s also waiting to hear back from her insurance, but odds are good her car is totaled too.

Like plenty of other Tuscaloosans, Campbell and Blastow have humidifiers and fans running 24/7 in the hopes that they’ll pull enough water out to avoid long-term damages or mold issues. Both agree the city is past due for drainage system upgrades so Tuscaloosans’ homes, cars and yards stay flood-free in the future.

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