‘It’s tragic’: Friends, co-workers remember Tuscaloosa flood victim

Local News

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (WIAT) — Many in Tuscaloosa are grieving the death of a man who died Saturday after his vehicle got swept away in flood waters.

Debra Hubbard is heartbroken, 40-year-old Kelvin Watford worked at her company 20 years. She said everyone called him “Country.”

“It is hard to lose someone that you have known for more than 20 years because he was part of the family,” Hubbard said.

Tuscaloosa Fire and rescue found Watford’s truck in drainage ditch near the intersection of Greensboro Avenue and 24th Street. Rescuers searched until Saturday night; someone discovered the victim’s body Sunday morning.

“I was shocked, and I couldn’t believe it, I was praying they would find him safe because I was hoping his vehicle washed away and he wasn’t in it. But that wasn’t the case and I knew he didn’t know how to swim.”

Kelvin Watford is originally from Greensboro in Hale County, but he was living in Tuscaloosa and worked for John Hubbard Flooring and Carpet company for the past 20 years. Debra Hubbard said he was family and a good friend and a hard dedicated employee.

“He was just part of the family, he came to birthday parties, Thanksgiving and Christmas and funerals. He was always there and was a good-hearted person and he will be missed a lot and my heart goes out to his family.”

Tuscaloosa Mayor Walt Maddox told CBS 42 the city is doing everything possible to address the flooding problems.

“It’s tragic, there’s nothing that can come out of a tragic loss from any occurrence. And we grieve for anyone who has been impacted, Mayor Maddox said. “Let’s remember this also that this flood event that happened Saturday was after three days of rain before that. So, our ground table was already saturated and there was nowhere for water to go.”

Tuscaloosa fire and police both responded to well over 100 calls of stranded motorists or flooding during the rain event.

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