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Water rescues conducted in Central Alabama amid flooding

Oct. 7 (UPI) -- Authorities in Central Alabama conducted dozens of water rescues overnight Wednesday as several counties were flooded following an onslaught of rain.

The National Weather Service Birmingham said Jefferson and Shelby Counties were experiencing "life-threatening flooding," while Blount County was also flooded.

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"Scanners are nonstop with calls for assistance. Please remain at home!" the service urged via Twitter. "Do not enter flood waters if you're already out traveling."

The service said a flash flood emergency had been issued and would remain in effect through 5 a.m. Thursday from Birmingham to Pelham. Though the rain had stopped after dumping as much as 10 inches over overnight, runoff was continuing to cause significant flooding with "major impacts," it said.

The Pelham Police Department reported at 11:35 p.m. Wednesday that it had received more than 30 water rescue calls with more incoming.

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"We cannot stress this enough: If you do not have an emergency, please do not call dispatch right now," the department said.

The Pelham Fire Department said early Thursday that dozens of water rescues were on going.

Jefferson County Emergency Management Agency Director Jim Coker told CNN that there were no reports of casualties but the effects of the flooding will be felt for weeks to come.

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"Crews will be out tomorrow checking damage and checking infrastructure, which is everything from roadways to pipelines to powerlines," Coker said.

Pelham City Schools said that due to the conditions of the roads and flooding in the area, classes on Thursday would be delayed by two hours.

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