OXFORD — An Anniston couple found themselves in deep water when they tried to leave the Oxford Walmart during a downpour Wednesday.
Cecil Dozier was driving his car when he and his wife left the shopping center, heading down Elm Street toward Alabama 21. The end of the street was flooded, but Dozier decided to chance it.
“We saw other cars going through it,” he said, as he watched his Toyota sedan being pulled by tow-truck from a flooded ditch.
According to data from the National Weather Service, 0.87 inches of rain fell at the Anniston Regional Airport — just down the highway from the Walmart store — in less than an hour, just before 4 p.m. Wednesday.
The Doziers may have made it through, but their car fell off the shoulder into much deeper water. “We were just floating in the front seat,” he said.
Oxford Fire Chief Gary Sparks said that his agency responded to the Dozier’s plight.
“As far as we know, there were only two flooded streets,” he said by phone.
Sparks said Hale Street behind Oxford High School’s football stadium also flooded, and that firefighters pulled people from the water there, as well.
After firefighters got the car doors open and freed the Doziers, a wrecker from Alabama Body Shop in Oxford came to pull their car out of the ditch.
“We get people out from over here all the time,” said Barry Odell, who drove the tow truck.
He told the Doziers their car was totaled. “Once they go underwater, you don’t want them fixed,” he said, standing next to the sodden car.
It was already out of the ditch and onto the wrecker. Water was still pouring from the open passenger-side door.