UPDATE: Alabama starts painful post-storm cleanup - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

UPDATE: Alabama starts painful post-storm cleanup

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Broken windows and flooded floors at a Valley Head restaurant Tuesday morning. Photo by Dan Kennedy/WRCBtv.com Broken windows and flooded floors at a Valley Head restaurant Tuesday morning. Photo by Dan Kennedy/WRCBtv.com
VALLEY HEAD, AL (WRCB) - Residents in Valley Head, Alabama are cleaning up after water flooded through their town early Tuesday.

The mayor of the town of 600 people said the town's drainage system became clogged with lumber, railroad ties and other debris.

The lumber was from a renovation project of Town Hall, which flooded four years ago. The railroad ties were from the tracks about 100 yards up a hill.

The rushing water pushed debris on the tracks and forced a train to stop and await the debris' removal before proceeding down the tracks.

Channel 3 spoke with a local restaurant owner who said she poured her life's savings into the restaurant that's now destroyed by flood waters.

"You just don't never expect this," said Diane Bell. "Everything we owned, we've lost. We're done. We're finished."

Diane Bell and her son opened the "Country Boys" restaurant in 2011 but now it's flooded beyond repairs, she said. Even the meat freezer tipped over, causing the $3,000 in meat to be ruined.

But Bell said in the midst of tragedy, she's thankful for a local police officer. Bell said she was riding out the storm inside the restaurant when water began rushing through both the front and back doors. A local officer rescued her from the rapidly flooding building.

The town's fire department, temporary town hall and other businesses in the CBD were flooded. But the mayor said there's no reports of injuries.

The town just installed an above-ground tornado shelter last Friday. Almost 100 residents filled the shelter to capacity Monday night and Tuesday morning as severe weather threatened their town.

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