Flooding, intense lightning cause damage in central Alabama

Flooding, intense lightning cause damage in central Alabama

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Flooding at Superior Grill on Highway 280. Flooding at Superior Grill on Highway 280.
Flooding along Dolly Ridge Road in Cahaba Heights. Source: Liz Giddens Flooding along Dolly Ridge Road in Cahaba Heights. Source: Liz Giddens
This house was struck by lightning and caught fire in Hoover. Source: Sherea Harris This house was struck by lightning and caught fire in Hoover. Source: Sherea Harris
Police say the driver wasn't injured after crashing into a State Farm office. Source: WBRC Police say the driver wasn't injured after crashing into a State Farm office. Source: WBRC
BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) -

Flooding and intense lightning have caused damage and injuries after strong thunderstorms blew through central Alabama Wednesday evening.

The strongest storm formed around 5 p.m. in the middle of rush hour, according to FOX6 News head meteorologist J-P Dice. The accumulated rainfall totals show the most rainfall between Cahaba Heights and Chelsea. The NWS estimates rainfall totals around 4" along that route.

The manager of Superior Grill reported to FOX6 that at one point, all lanes in front of the restaurant were flooded and authorities had stopped traffic. Around 7:40 p.m., the manager updated FOX6, saying that it appeared one lane had reopened.

Flooding was also reported in Cahaba Heights along Dolly Ridge Road and along Highway 119.

There were also reports of trees down along Hilltop Road along the Bessemer/Hoover city line.

Besides the heavy rain, lightning was a huge threat today. At one point in Shelby County, FOX6 VIPIR measured over 1,000 cloud to ground lightning strikes within a 20-minute time period.

Reporter Sherea Harris was at the scene of a house fire in Hoover that is being blamed on lightning. She spoke with an occupant of the house who was inside when the fire started.

Reporter Vanessa Araiza was also in Hoover Wednesday night. Hoover Police say that the manager of Staples on Highway 31 was hit by lightning. Authorities say the man is recovering at UAB.

Once the rain had passed in Homewood, police say an SUV t-boned another vehicle and ended up inside the State Farm office on Highway 31. The driver wasn't injured and it's unclear just how much damage has been done to the building.

J-P Dice says we can expect more rain Thursday, so make sure to check in to FOX6 News at 9, 9:30 and 10 for the latest updates.

You can also keep up with weather coverage on Twitter, with the WBRC weather app, and on www.myfoxal.com/weather.

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