Disasters: An Almost Biblical Flood

An Almost Biblical Flood

Residents of Alabama, Georgia and the Florida panhandle must have thought of Noah as up to 16 in. of rain poured down in 48 hours. In Elba, Ala. (pop. 4,355), the torrent breached the levee holding off the Pea River. No one was killed, but 3,000 had to evacuate the area. Elsewhere, bridges washed away, and caskets floated up from the rain-loosened soil of a Selma cemetery.

One concern for waterlogged residents: a flotilla of water moccasins in the flood tides. "Snakes are trying to find a dry piece of ground, just like everyone else," said Greg McWhorter of Alabama's emergency-management...